Developer: Premier Leisure Suffolk Limited
In 2006, Premier Leisure Suffolk Limited, submitted a proposal to convert the 2,870sq m 5 screen cinema into a mixed use building consisting of a nightclub, tenpin bowling, sports bar, amusements, lounge bar and music rooms. However, for whatever reason, the building was put up for sale in 2013 at £1 million by Premier Leisure, despite interest there was no buyer.
In 2014 the building was sold for £530,000 at an auction at Savills in London. Savills refused to comment on the buyer but it is was later reported to be the same owner of the Buttermarket, Capital & Regional and Drum Property Group. No proposal has been since submitted and the owners said they will look for a use when their current project, the Buttermarket, is complete. Yet, still no new proposal for this building.
The original proposal in 2006, designed by Breley Design are as follows.
The ground floor would have consisted of:
– New foyer, entrance and external seating
– New bar and Bistro with Coffee Bar adjacent and lounge seating area
– New 8 Lane 10-Pin Bowling Alley and Amusements
The first floor would have consisted of:
– New family Sports Bar and Restaurant
– Events on TV’s and Big Screen
– Balcony over ground floor atrium
The second floor would have consisted of:
– New ‘Chill Out Bar’ with soft music, open to families in the day, over 18’s at evening/night
– 2 new music venues, each operating for family’s and eating during the day and over 18’s entertainment in the evening/night
Had it come to fruition, it would have been one of the largest leisure centres in Ipswich, however, the proposal was approved but subsequently lapsed and no effort was made to extend the application. Though no official reason is given for the the collapse of this project, the scheme was proposed in the wake of police objections and the change in the economic climate. The location and accessibility also contributed to the collapse of this scheme.
The proposal could have started the regeneration of eastern part of the town centre including Upper Orwell Street and subsequent area. It would have been a unique attraction for Ipswich especially with the amusements and music venue but it was not to be. As it stands, this prominent building will remain empty for the foreseeable future.
Images: Breley Design