Tower Ramparts gets major boost as Topshop to undergo refit after owners sign new 10-year lease

Topshop Manager David Smy (in black) with sales assistants Lisa Acott and Lewis Calver

Topshop Manager David Smy (in black) with sales assistants Lisa Acott and Lewis Calver - Credit: Archant

One of the largest stores in Tower Ramparts has committed itself to the shopping centre – and is having its own refit as work is due to start on transforming the building into Sailmakers.

Top Shop and Top Man has signed an extension to its lease – committing itself to the centre for the next 10 years – just as work is about to start on the £4 million refurbishment of the centre.

Topshop manager David Smy said: “Work on our refit starts next week and we’re delighted because we will be staying open.

“In fact we will only have to close for a brief period just before the planned re-opening in March because as we’re on two floors we are able to close off one floor and trade from the other.

“The new look store will look very good and I’m sure our customers will enjoy it.”

Mike Sorhaindo, Manager of the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, said: “We are delighted that Topshop have given a ten-year commitment to the Centre and to Ipswich.

“They have been at the Centre since it opened in the 1980s and as a top retailer it is important to us and to the town that they will remain here at the new look Sailmakers.

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“Their continued presence is a boost to the local economy and will underline Ipswich’s credentials as an important retail centre.”

The name Sailmakers is a tribute to the town’s maritime past and as part of the scheme, new entrances will be installed with their design based on the historic Thames barges that once sailed into the town.

There will also be a major internal refurbishment and new toilet facilities, along with new shop fascias.

Mr Sorhaindo added: “The plans have received a warm welcome from retailers and from shoppers and is the start of an exciting new stage for the centre.

“There was a general understanding that the centre needed to be refurbished to make it more attractive both to shoppers and to big name retailers.”