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Ipswich: Nightlife boost expected as World Cup kicks off in Brazil

13:56 12 June 2014

Dan Fairbrass and Sheryl McGeown are gearing up for the World Cup at the Spread Eagle Pub in Ipswich.

Dan Fairbrass and Sheryl McGeown are gearing up for the World Cup at the Spread Eagle Pub in Ipswich.

Excitement is reaching fever-pitch as the World Cup kicks off in Brazil today.

England’s World Cup fixtures

England-Italy, 11pm kick-off, Saturday on BBC

Uruguay-England, 8pm kick-off, Thursday on ITV

England-Costa Rica, 5pm kick-off on June 24, ITV

And Ipswich’s bars and pubs are anticipating a bumper month ahead as footie fans flock to their locals to see how England fare in the competition.

Many pubs have applied for an extended licence as the tournament kicks off tonight with Brazil against Croatia before England start their campaign against Italy on Saturday.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “Certainly bars and restaurants do well during major sporting events and if England keep going I suspect that we will feel more positive and spend money in the shops.

“The bars and pubs will be boosted by having extended opening hours in place. They are likely to do very well, it will hopefully be very positive.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the high quality food and drink industry in Suffolk would be “bringing in extra” as people enjoyed the games.

“The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and as such is one that many businesses across Suffolk will benefit from,” he added. “Many of our pubs and clubs will be showing the games, which is good news for business and good news for the local economy.

“I hope that firms will take every opportunity to align themselves with the global festival of football and the opportunities it brings.”

The Royal George in Colchester Road is among the pubs to apply for an extended licence.

Manager Richard Almond said: “We will open later for the key games only. We are usually open until 11pm but will be serving until 1am if necessary.

“The trade won’t affect us during the day, and we will continue serving as normal, but I have high hopes that it will increase at night because of the extra hours we are open.”

Sheryl McGeown, landlady at The Spread Eagle, also applied for a later license for Saturday when England take on Italy.

“We have gone all out to decorate the pub and give it an exciting atmosphere,” she said.

Nathaniel Coughlan, manager at Isaacs on the Quay, said staying at home could not “replicate the buzz of how our courtyard will feel”.

And Sam McCallum, from The Bell Inn in Kesgrave, said trade is expected to be high during England games, although their TVs will only be used until 11.30pm to avoid disturbing residents.

Ipswich mayor, Bill Quinton, said the World Cup would bring the “feel good factor” to town.

“I think local pubs and bars will benefit if they are showing the matches and there could be a boost for food retailers and other businesses as we all tune in,” he added. “One of the reasons we have not staged any big screen events in the town is because we want local pubs to benefit. Now all we need is a good run from Roy’s Boys and some more Rio sunshine!”

The Ipswich Star is challenging primary school children to learn about the history, values and cultures of the different countries competing in the World Cup.

Twenty-six schools have been teamed up with nations including Halifax Primary School and England with Stutton C of EVCP School landing tournament favourites Brazil.

Over the course of the four-week football extravaganza all of the schools’ World Cup events will be covered in the Star.

Each school will encourage their pupils to find out more about their adopted country through themed lessons.

Food-tasting and music-inspired activities will also help the children gain a greater appreciation of their paired country.

Town striker Alan Lee and former Blues midfielder Simon Milton carried out the live draw at the club’s training pitch last week.

What are your World Cup predictions? Play our Brazil Goals game and you could win an iPad Air. Click here to register

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