Ipswich: Tower Ramparts tenants welcome new investment

Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts. Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts.

Friday, July 25, 2014
2:34 PM

Proposals for a £4 million revamp for the Tower Ramparts shopping centre have received a warm welcome from tenants after they were formally unveiled to them yesterday.

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Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts.Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts.

We revealed that the centre, built in 1986, is to be rebranded Sailmakers during the facelift which should be completed by the middle of next year.

The work will carry on from the major changes at both ends of the centre with the creation of new shops for Iceland, Poundland and River Island.

Boots, which is not part of the centre but opens into the shopping mall, is also having a major facelift.

Centre manager Mike Sorhaindo was delighted by the reaction of tenants who were shown off the proposed changes at yesterday’s meeting.

Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts.Artist's impression of Sailmakers - the new name for Tower Ramparts.

He said: “They were all very positive, and told us they liked what was being proposed. It’s very important to keep the tenants happy and keep them informed about what is happening.”

Kelly Chamberlain from The Bear Garden on the upper floor of the centre was very excited at the proposals: “It’s clear that a lot of thought and planning has gone into this and I think it looks really good.

“It should attract a lot more people into the centre. I’m really pleased that we (the tenants) are going on this journey.”

A formal planning application for the changes at the centre has been lodged with the borough council and a decision is expected to be made within the next two or three months. No major problems are anticipated.

Centre owner LaSalle Investment Management hopes to start the work at the end of January, after the busy Christmas and post-Christmas sales period.

The aim is to complete the 
refurbishment by the middle of next year – and to have attracted new tenants to move in by then.

Craig Hatt, 28, from Ipswich, said: “You need something in Sailmakers which will keep you here for longer than a couple of hours. It seems sad that there are pound shops scattered around rather than independent stores, so maybe use this revamp to add more variety to the town. You could even use this place as a stop off point and add a few restaurants into it.” 


Coralie Storey, 20, from Ipswich, said: “I love High Street shopping, but don’t see any point if it’s mainly for upgrades and same old retailers I can visit elsewhere. I personally prefer to go to Norwich for a day out, as I only come to Ipswich town centre to pop in, get what I need, then leave. I feel that Sailmakers should turn into an entertaining stop off point, along with more places to sit down and eat.”

Janet and David Blackiston, 53 and 69 from Harwich, said: “We just come to the High Street to get what we need, and then go down to the Waterfront to get away from the shopping crowds. We enjoy the popular national chain stores as it saves us travelling all the way to Lakeside for example. There’s no need to bring food or stop offs into Sailmakers, as this High Street can be kept for shopping only. Besides, there are many places to eat on the outskirts of Ipswich as well as a decent cinema, which would be a better place to escape with easier parking.”


Ann Skipper, 65 from Bury St Edmunds, said: “The current entrance is not very attractive and it definitely needs tidying up. Ipswich town centre has lost its historical factor along the way and Sailmakers may be something to reflect the maritime heritage. The Waterfront and the town centre seem very separate, so we need something to connect the two together.”

19 comments

  • Nice improvement, but is it worth 5-6 months downtime for businesses?

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Clare the market spoils what should be the focal point of the town centre and turns it in to a dirty and messy area, although I suppose it does make the town seem more crowded than it actually is. On top of the litter and the dirty smells cars and vans parked all around the edge spoil what should be the prime town centre open space area. It doesn't even sell anything nice, look at all the tat on the stalls.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • It will look much better but the long term problem of parking costs and far too many out-of-town places to shop will still have a big effect. By the way the market should not be described as a shanty town!

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    clare0ntarget

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • @pop-pop no and yes

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    Chris D

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • So Chris D, do you class yourself as scruffy and not middle class then?

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    Pop-pop

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • This all sounds great and is long overdue. A clear sign at last that someone wants to invest in the town. We should all stop moaning and give them a chance. What would also be good alongside this is redevelopment of the ikd Crown car park into a new multi-storey. This would help the footfall through the TRSailmakers. At present the temporary car park is in a shocking condition with the surface breaking up etc.

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    Gav W

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I have it on good authority that the weekly rent for the ex Croydons building is in the region of £6,000. What independent store can afford that. Rent, rates & car parking need to be drastically reduced to attract new shops & visitors to Ipswich.

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    Tractorboy49

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I mean't to put come on IBC let's have some descent shops please

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    marlyn

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Please could we have a department store like Norwich have Jarrolds, Colchester have Williams & griffin. We really could do with one since co op left. It would have been nice to have a john Lewis in town but I doubt that will happen now. I must say Norwich & Colchester have a better shopping experience than Ipswich, so come on IBC let 's something descent please.

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    marlyn

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Ipswichite, I'm guessing the lifts will be where the old Littlewoods lifts were as you may have noticed in between Iceland and London Diva there is a shuttered area which could easily be the access to the lifts.

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    Gez

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • What I love about these artist impressions are the smartly dressed, middle class people you see, both of which Ipswich doesn't have.

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    Chris D

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Empty shops is the curse if every town up and down the country at the moment so it would be perhaps unfair to blame the council & they have little power over rents it would seem. Shop rentals throughout the country are a scandal operated on an almost cartel level. If you were renting out your house you would the most you could achieve for it. Ipswich's problem is its reputation as a poorly educated, low wage, very much working class little town and that is reflected in the shops you see today.

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    Chris D

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • There are some really miserable people out there. Can't wait to knock Ipswich. If they are shopping elsewhere Ipswich will never recover. Yes, Upper Orwell Street Carr Street are awful but Tavern Street the Buttermarket and Westgate Street are lovely especially when that shanty town of a market isn't there.

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    m01

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Wow! The creation of new shops for Iceland, Poundland and River Island. We are really setting our sights high! Utter waster of money!

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    Blue Jerboa

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • It is big waste of cash i think the best thing is put down all the shop rents down so people can afford to run a shop in the town. Or pull it down and build a better one what would like better.

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    chris betts

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Currently the high street is awful, i have always shopped in ipswich but now I prefer to spend a little more time and money and go somewhere better like Norwich or bury st Edmunds. The thing that puts me off shopping in ipswich is that it's basically all just coffee shops and pound shops. It has no appeal to me. I like the look of this revamp and I sincerely hope it's not going to be rammed to the rafters with shops selling cheap tat. Ipswich high street needs a major revamp, it needs a wider variety of shops that will draw the crowds and make us want to spend our money here. If you only rely on pound shops bringing the business in then no matter how much effort is put in to renovating, people will not come to ipswich. Not everyone wants something for a pound which will be broken in a week. Please use this opportunity to get in companies selling good quality products and you will see business rise, when that happens I will return to ipswich high street.

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    Laura Harradine

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • The designs look great we need to catch up with norwich and bury so good retailers will come back to ipswich and attract people from outside ipswich as it's clear people in ipswich only want pound shops bookies and charity shops.

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    gabi

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Looks great, I especially like the white outside rendering and the glass balcony inside. The artist hasn't drawn the lift though, will be be sited elsewhere I wonder

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    Ipswichite

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • A big waste of cash. Will not make a piece of difference. Too many empty shops everywhere. It will be more expensive to rent the stores inside.

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    Ipswich Man

    Friday, July 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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