Pret A Manger rules out unit in Ipswich Buttermarket despite branding appearing on application
PUBLISHED: 12:57 30 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57 30 September 2017
Pret A Manger has ruled out filling an empty unit in the Buttermarket as part of the next phase of the shopping and retail centre’s development, despite a planning application featuring its branding.
The Buttermarket last week submitted plans for a revamp of its entrance on the Butter Market street side opposite Waterstones, which would feature part of the complex being demolished and new entrance being built.
As part of the plans, mock up images of the redesigned entrance appear to show Pret A Manger’s branding filling the vacant unit at the front which has gone through a number of uses including pop-up gym office, art shop, calendar store and men’s clothing.
But the sandwich shop chain has said it is not looking at this site.
A spokeswoman from Pret A Manger said: “Our plans to open a Pret shop on the Cornhill are progressing well, but just to confirm, the Buttermarket Centre isn’t an area we’re currently are looking at.”
It is understood the Buttermarket unit was one that had previously been considered, but it is still pursuing plans to fill a part of the former Grimwades store.
It is believed the former Grimwades store will be split with Pret A Manger and a bank filling the vacant space.
It is not yet clear which bank is in negotiations to occupy the building, but a spokeswoman from Metro Bank previously expressed interest in opening a branch in Ipswich.
A spokeswoman last week added: “We do remain committed to opening a store in Ipswich in the near future.”
Plans for the redevelopment of the second Buttermarket entrance follow developments transforming the site into a leisure and retail hybrid, with Cosy Club, Wagamama, Krispy Kreme, Empire cinemas and Byron Burger among the names to have arrived.
The application documents said the Butter Market street entrance had “not been upgraded since construction in 1992” and added that the entrance refurbishment would “ensure the retail offer survives the pressures that high street retailers are currently facing”.
The proposal aims to create a lighter and more attractive mall-style ‘street’ which will better suit the revamped centre.