By Paul Geater
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
THE town’s newest hotel is set to open its doors for the first time later this month – bringing a welcome new boost for the Waterfront.
And the opening of the Premier Inn on Star Lane is just the first phase in what should be a momentous year for this part of the town.
Work is due to start in the spring on restoring and refurbishing St Mary at Quay church which is due to be converted into a wellbeing centre by Suffolk MIND in a £3.5million project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The total investment in the new hotel is £5 million. As well as 85 bedrooms, it will have a bar/restaurant.
It will employ 32 full-time staff and should be a major boost to the town’s business and tourism economy.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said the investment in the Waterfront was good news – even though the pace of progress was not as fast as it had been a few years ago.
He said: “The Premier Inn and St Mary’s projects are comparatively small compared with the major schemes we saw before the recession.
“But they are very important because they show the development of the Waterfront is continuing – and there is also movement at The Mill and plans coming forward for UCS.”
The new developments were also welcomed by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer who said they would be more sustainable than some of the developments that went up before the recession.
He said: “Look at their uses. There is a business hotel which is going to bring people for work and wanting to do business in Ipswich.
“And the restoration of St Mary at Quay will create a magnificent new public space and will help to link the Waterfront with the rest of the developing town centre.”