Ipswich: New pharmacy opens in Waterfront district

Aqua Pharmacy owner Michelle Claridge, left, with Jule Southin

Aqua Pharmacy owner Michelle Claridge, left, with Jule Southin - Credit: Archant

A new pharmacy and treatment centre has opened in Ipswich’s Waterfront district, creating six new jobs in the area, with the support of a five-figure loan from Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking.

Based on Duke Street, Aqua Pharmacy provides a full range of pharmacy services such as NHS prescription dispensing and collections from local surgeries, as well as ancillary treatments including smoking cessation, sexual health and travel clinics.

The 2,000 sq ft premises includes a large shop area for customers, as well as four private treatment rooms which are leased to other healthcare professionals, currently including a sports massage therapist and a medical aesthetist offering cosmetic treatments. The business is run by six members of staff and four locum pharmacists.

Having worked as a community pharmacist for 23 years, Aqua’s founder and director Michelle Claridge saw an opportunity to provide a local service in an area that did not have healthcare provisions at the time.

Michelle used funding from Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking’s healthcare banking team through the government-backed Funding for Lending scheme to develop the new premises and to assist with starting-up.

Michelle said: “I had always wanted to run my own pharmacy, so we did a lot of research to find a location that would really benefit from our services, rather than taking over an established business.

“As we are in a newly developed area, we’ve tried to include as many facilities for our customers as possible, even including a dry cleaning collection service, as we want to add real value to the local community.

Most Read

“The support from the Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking team has been invaluable in setting up the pharmacy, and we’re already working to drive the business forward this year through the addition of more specialist clinics and treatment professionals.”

Julie Southin, specialist healthcare banking relationship manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, said: “Aqua Pharmacy is a superb business that offers a vital service to the local area, and it’s great to see that it is already proving popular with customers.

“Leasing out treatment rooms is also a great way of expanding its offering while generating revenue, and the creation of new jobs is always welcome news.

“To ensure that we are constantly able to offer our customers funding solutions tailored to their unique needs, our specialist healthcare banking team receive regular training to keep them up to date with factors and regulation currently affecting the sector.”