Ipswich’s Electric House owners reveal building’s new £1m makeover into luxury apartments

Picture of Radio Orwell in Electric House, Ipswich. 1980

Picture of Radio Orwell in Electric House, Ipswich. 1980 - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich property company has unveiled 14 new “Manhattan-style” apartments after converting the town’s historic Electric House building with support from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Electric House
Jeremy Goddard, Corindale Properties and Chris Fuller, Lloyds Bank Commercial Bank

Electric House Jeremy Goddard, Corindale Properties and Chris Fuller, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking - Credit: Archant

Corindale Properties, which was established in 1997 by Kevin Cattermole and Jeremy Goddard, specialise in land and property development, including new builds and historic conversion work in and around the Suffolk area.

The company has transformed Electric House, on Lloyds Avenue, into apartments after securing a £1m loan from Lloyds Bank. The funding has been used to refurbish the entire building and introduce a roof garden.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. L-R Terry Baxter, Cllr David Ellesmere, Ben Gummer MP

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. L-R Terry Baxter, Cllr David Ellesmere, Ben Gummer MP,Cllr Liz Harsant,Jeremy Goddard. - Credit: Archant

It has been cleaned and converted into homes right in the heart of Ipswich.

The building was opened by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer and the leader of Ipswich Borough Council, David Ellesmere.

Lionel Blair at Radio Orwell, March 1978

Lionel Blair at Radio Orwell, March 1978 - Credit: Archant


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Mr Gummer said: “It is really impressive, a great conversion. Having more people living in the town centre is great for the town.”

Kevin Cattermole, director of Corindale Properties, said: “Electric House has been hailed as one of the ‘seven wonders of Ipswich’, originally starting out as a corset factory and more recently being solicitors’ offices. The new apartments has been an exciting opportunity for us and it’s been a great experience to bring this wonderful old building back into use.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

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“Ipswich has experienced significant investment in recent years and is a hotspot for new opportunities. The commercial team at Lloyds Bank fully understood what we were trying to achieve and we’re looking forward to working with them again in the future as we continue to grow.”

Chris Fuller, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Corindale Properties has responded to the growing need for new properties in Ipswich, underlining its commitment to the local area.

Electric House, Crown Street, Ipswich. August 1969

Electric House, Crown Street, Ipswich. August 1969 - Credit: Archant

“Through supporting small-to-medium sized businesses like this looking to reach their growth ambitions, we’re continuing to help Britain prosper. To underline this, we’ve pledged to increase our net lending by a further £1billlion this year.”

The Art Deco style white brick frontage of Electric House has sometimes been described as one of the Seven Wonders of Ipswich.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

It was the home of the the local electricity company for many years. If you look at the top of the building, from Tower Ramparts you can see the initials IESC - for Ipswich Elecricity Supply Company, and the words Light, Power, Heat.

On the ground floor was the customer service centre for Eastern Electricity.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich.
Jeremy Goddard on the roof garden.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. Jeremy Goddard on the roof garden. - Credit: Archant

Radio Orwell launched in 1975, from Electric House, with a solicitors offices above. Graham & Oldham solicitors became part of what is now Ashtons Legal, an important employer in the town, now at the Waterfront.

The launch of commercial radio in the town was a time of great excitement.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich.

Official opening of Electric House in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

The radio station later merged with Saxon Radio and became SGR FM.

In the early years presenters included Andy Archer, Patrick Eade, Katie Glass, Keith Rogers and Greg Bance.

Yesteday, former presenter Patrick Eade said: “Forty years ago I was working in the `dungeons’ here. The reception and offices were on the ground floor, and there were three studios in the basement.

“This an an absolutely amazing transformation.”

The frontage of the building, on Tower Ramparts, was a later addition to the original Victorian building.

It was linked to the former corset factory, across Peel Street, with a tunnel and an upper floor bridge for employees, according to John Norman of the Ipswich Society.

Corsets were supplied and sold at Fortman & Pretty department store at the bottome of Lloyds Avenue.

The main corset factory building was demolished, and is now the public car park behind Marks & Spencers.

The Electric House of today has homes at the rear, and on the upper floors, with haart estate agents also on the ground floor.

Residents of the apartments will also have use of the roof terrace which has been created in the scheme, with panoramic views across the town centre.

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