Town's hotel boost to tourism

NEW hotels are set to boost the growing tourism trade in Ipswich, an industry expert claimed today.

NEW hotels are set to boost the growing tourism trade in Ipswich, an industry expert claimed today.

David Stainer, the manager of the tourism information centre in Ipswich, said plans for two new hotels in the town will bring a welcome boost to the tourism industry.

If plans currently under consideration are approved, the hotels will overlook the River Orwell and the Ipswich waterfront and would bring more than 200 more hotel rooms to the town.

Mr Stainer said: “I like to think that tourism is really growing in the town and lots of good things are happening.

“We need to look to the future because tourism is a growth industry with economic developments for the area and for people living in the area.”

With the latest applications, Ramcore Hotels is hoping to build a 127-bedroom hotel on the CompAir Reavell manufacturer site on Ranelagh Road, while Persimmon Homes/Sandringham Investments in Witham, Essex, are seeking permission for a 111-bedroom hotel with café and an office building at Griffin Wharf, Hawes Street.

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Both have submitted planning applications with Ipswich Borough Council this month.

Jim Brown of Suffolk Tourism Partnership said it was too early to tell if Ipswich needed so many new hotel rooms.

He said: “We haven't seen any details of what the plans are so it is difficult to say what the developments would be like.

“What we want to do is get good quality developments which have good economical value and employ local people.”

The hotel proposed for the Ranelagh Road site would include seven bedrooms which would be fully accessible to wheelchair users, a restaurant, bar and meeting rooms for guest use.

The Persimmon Homes/Sandringham Investments proposals for Griffin Wharf are for a four to five storey building.

Their plans for the site, described as a vacant former industrial site, are for a 2,775m sq office building and a 3,838m sq hotel.

Colin Atkinson, a manager with Sandringham Investments, a property developers and hotel operators company, said they were aiming to build a good, mid-market hotel.

N Does Ipswich need more hotels? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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