EDitorial ± 1-Apr-2008

IKEA To Open Ipswich Town Centre Store

IKEA is delighted to confirm that today, 1st April 2008, we have submitted a planning application for a new store in Ipswich town centre. We intend to build the new IKEA Ipswich on Upper Brook Street in the former Gold & Silver Discount Centre between Joywheel Amusements and the Can Can bag emporium.

Instead of yet another waterfront-style skyscraper, IKEA Ipswich will take a revolutionary approach to city centre development: we will not be aiming higher, but lower and deeper. To meet guidelines set by the town's civic society, our innovative store will go a full 20 floors underground. For adults, access to & from lower floors will be provided by paternoster lift, reclaimed from Civic Centre, while children will use a brightly coloured Tate Modernesque tubular slide.

By digging deeper, IKEA Ipswich will accommodate up to 78 furnished room layouts within its 38,010 square metres of floor space. Our subterranean approach will also enable us to install a Greyfriars-inspired travelator direct to the existing underground spiral car park on Civic Drive. In addition, to emphasise our commitment to public transport, we aim to build the first new station on the Ipswich Underground Railway for over 50 years.

Such significant engineering works in a confined site will require the widening or possible demolition of St Stephens Lane to allow for the use of a 120-tonne Tibbott Class 3 telescopic crane.

Benito Rubinan, IKEA area representative, said: "Ever since sampling a Portman Road Pukka pie in 2001 as a visiting Helsingborg supporter, it has been no secret that we have been trying to find a suitable location in your ancient yet go-ahead town. And when we heard that both Waitrose and John Lewis had all but booked their slots, we had to act fast. We're very keen to form a sizeable fraction of the Mint Quarter, perhaps as much as five-eighths."

Councillor Peter Morris from Ipswich Borough Council added: "This is terrific news for everyone in our fine university town who needs a pack of tealights. Our design team is already working closely with IKEA on a new range of shelving units to be called the Viljoen, the Thijssen and the Osbjorne. I'm confident that this giant Scandinavian hardware shop will more than fill the gap left by Martin & Newby."