Ipswich: Work starts on John Lewis store – heralding the arrival of 1,500 Suffolk jobs

THE first skeleton steelwork for Ipswich’s new John Lewis/Waitrose superstore is now going up – bang on schedule.

The site of the new store on the former Crane site beside Ransomes Way was handed over to the firm handling the construction of the store at the end of last week.

This week Bowmer & Kirkland have started putting up the skeleton of the building, which is due to be open for shoppers in time for Christmas.

Paul Isaacs of developers Aquigen said everything was well on schedule: “We have been clearing the site and the area where the store is being built was cleared and cleaned up exactly as planned.

“The weather has not been ideal. We hoped we would be able to clear the ground in warmer, dryer weather than we have had for the last few months but it has not slowed us down – just made the work a bit messier!”

There was a rare glimpse of blue sky as engineers put up the steel for the new store yesterday.

The 100,000 square foot store will just be the first tenant on what will be known as Futura Park.

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On the opposite side of the Ransomes Way entrance to the park will be another large superstore which will be allowed to sell bulky goods – no tenant has yet been signed up.

In total there will be 600,000 square feet of new buildings, including offices, factory units, and warehousing on the 44-hectare business park.

A total of 1,500 people are expected to be employed at Futura Park, including 300 at the Waitrose/John Lewis At Home store.