A new office project in the heart of Ipswich is gathering pace – bringing a former maltings and nightclub a new lease of life.
Developers have opened the doors of The Maltings, to give a first insight into the transformation which is taking place to allow for new business tenants.
The Grade II listed building on Princes Street dates back to the 1820s and is perhaps best known locally as the former Zest Nightclub.
The site has stood empty and derelict for a decade, but now, with loan funding of £600,000 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growing Places Fund, its redevelopment into a modern, ‘Shoreditch style’ office space is well underway.
Work started on the £3m project in March, with the complete stripping out of the building to reveal its original structure. The roof has also been stripped, given extra insulation and will shortly be re-slated.
Six new roof lights have been inserted and the original window openings reopened with more added. The building’s original brickwork has been repaired and steam-cleaned and a new Atrium area formed. The project is on target for completion in April next year, opening up 23,000 sq ft of office space for businesses.
Mark Pertwee, of developers Pertwee Estates, said: “We’re delighted, of course, to have received this substantial support from New Anglia LEP’s Growing Places Fund. The funding enables us to unlock the potential of this previously neglected empty building.
“Our intention with The Maltings is to create something new and unique to the area. This is a building with a very individual style, and in its restoration we are celebratingits 20 0 year old architectural heritage through a contemporary refurbishment.
“Princes Street, the corridor between the railway station and town centre, is now widely recognised as Ipswich’s prime business district. The Maltings will add another dimension to the already diverse range of office accommodation in this increasingly attractive area.”
Iain Dunnett, Growing Places Fund Coordinator at New Anglia LEP, said: “We see real value in supporting this project. Ipswich is one of the priority places identified in the Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk and, placed between the rail station and Princes Street Enterprise Zone, the importance of this location can’t be underestimated.
“This development is already creating construction jobs in the town, with more to come in the IT and Digital sector once the commercial space is up and running. It’s one of a number of projects going on right now, helping to make the ambitions of the Ipswich Vision a reality and make this an exciting place to live and work.”
David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We are very pleased with the progress being made by Pertwee Estates and are proud of the role we played in kick-starting this development after it had lain derelict for so long under private ownership. The Maltings is a key part of the Princes Street commercial corridor we are creating with our partners and will provide another boost for a valuable site linking the town centre and the railway station.”