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Development begins at historic maltings site in Ipswich

Work has just beg on the redevelopment of a historic maltings building in Princes Street, Ipswich, into 23,000 sq ft of very desirable industrial-style offices.

This follows the granting of planning permission from Ipswich Borough Council and, more recently, the award of a £600,000 loan from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund.

The £3million project will see the semi-derelict Grade II listed building, which has been empty for 10 years, converted into stylish ‘de-furbished’ offices. It will offer four floors of accommodation, reflecting the historic industrial character of the former maltings, yet providing every modern amenity.

The developers are Pertwee Estates, a family business based in Colchester, Essex. Director, Mark Pertwee, believes that the conversion will provide tenants of The Maltings with an unique opportunity to operate from an office building, markedly different from anything else available locally.

He believed that it was a project that had really captured the imagination of the local community.

He said: “It’s a very sensitive restoration that will enhance the building’s historic features through the clever use of modern materials and construction of an atrium which will bring in lots of natural light. The first thing to happen will be to strip out the building, which will take a couple of months, and then the work to restore the fabric of the building will begin.

“Each and every space will reflect the historic character of the 1820’s building, but will be restored in a stripped back ‘de-furbished’ way. Original remaining features such as machinery and furnaces, where appropriate, will be retained to add to the character. We will also be building additional floors into the old kiln, to create an exciting space with a bird’s eye view over parts of the town and river,” he added.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting this development project in Ipswich town centre, one of the priority places identified in the new Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk.

“We hope that it will become a hub for innovative and exciting digital businesses, bringing new jobs to the town. It will be the latest in a number of exciting projects to begin in Ipswich, helping to bring the aspirations of the Ipswich Vision to life, and we look forward to seeing it take shape.”

Vanessa Penn of the agents for the site, Penn Commercial said: “We recognise that The Maltings is likely to be of particular interest to companies in the creative sector, such as graphic designers or advertising agencies. Alternatively it would make a great headquarters building. It’s also an opportunity for any business that wants to project a progressive image, so we’re already talking to a wide range of organisations.

“At this stage the developers can accommodate tenants’ own space planning requirements and carry out a bespoke fit out for any making an early commitment.

“Of course, the accommodation could be taken by just one tenant, or by a number. There is that level of flexibility about this scheme,” she added.

Work on the site should be completed within a year, with the building ready for occupation in early 2019. 

Sue Wilcock