Town set for hotel boost

IPSWICH'S Fightback against economic doom and gloom continues today as a new hotel gets ready to open its doors in the town.

IPSWICH'S Fightback against economic doom and gloom continues today as a new hotel gets ready to open its doors in the town.

The Ramada Encore hotel will officially launch in June on the old CompAir Reavell site in Ranelagh Road.

The 126 bedroom hotel will include a restaurant and two meeting rooms, and staff are currently being recruited to work in the newly built facility.

There will be 40 parking spaces on the site, which is next to a large Fairview Homes housing development.

The US-based chain of hotels already has premises around the UK and the rest of the world and the newest addition has described itself as being “fresh, stylish, vibrant and upbeat”.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: "This is excellent news and proof that Ipswich is fighting back. The new hotel along with other investment news shows there is much confidence in the Ipswich economy."

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Meanwhile, other symbols of promise for an economic renaissance in the town are two halls of residence for the new University Campus Suffolk - which have been given planning permission.

The latest to get the go-ahead is to be located on the island site where part of the old Burton Sons and Saunders building stood opposite Ipswich Waterfront.

Permission for the building's construction was given at a meeting of councillors last week.

John Cooper, chairman of IBC planning committee estimates this and another hall of residence opposite Suffolk College in Rope Walk, which is also being planned, will house a total of around 700 students.

Mr Cooper believes it will make the town's economy far more vibrant as the injection of money they bring will help with the resurgence.

He said: “It has to be very good I imagine. Local businesses can only benefit. All the students will be buying clothes and all the other things students need. Some of the local cafes and pubs will probably do quite well out of it.”

Mr Cooper said two other sites were also earmarked for student accommodation in the town.

They are the former Grey Green coach station in St Margaret's Street and the empty building, which used to house the Kwikfit garage in nearby St Margaret's Green.

Are you pleased Ramada Encore is coming to Ipswich along with the influx of students? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

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