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State of the town 11:31 - Sep 30 with 2722 viewsBlueBlueBluex2

Was given my very first furlough day yesterday as I guess a 'thankyou' for holding the fort over the last couple of years, so I headed to the Butt and Oyster for F+C and a pint before making my way into the town centre.

Its been in decline for some years I know but was a real eye opener just how bad it is now. East of Upper Brook Street is a no-mans-land now, with the place in complete decay. The Buttermarket is on its last legs and the main thoroughfare just devoid of any useful shops.

Anyway, the question I have, where on earth do people who live there purchase clothes? I was only after a pair of jeans but after a quick 30 mins I determined that that was going to be an impossible ask.
[Post edited 30 Sep 11:32]
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State of the town on 11:44 - Sep 30 with 2305 viewsSparky85

Completely agree with the first 2 paragraphs. Its been left to rot for years now. The retail market doesn't help and most outlets have gone online.

The only 2 shops I go into now are Superdry and TK Maxx. Everything else I do online. Shame but it is the way of the world now
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State of the town on 11:50 - Sep 30 with 2279 viewswrightsrightglove

The simple answer to your question is…the internet.

The longer answer is that the above is the reason why all town centres are in decline, internet shopping means that the traditional town centre will never return. Ipswich town centre is way too big and the focus should be on purchasing empty units to convert into much needed housing and then have smaller areas focused on specific uses. Once the botanist comes to the old post office along with Starbucks in the unit next to whsmiths and the cafe and pizza place opens around the corner hopefully this will encourage other eating options to open up close to this area, particularly the unit where pret were supposed to be going into and the old golden lion. Small independent units should then be encouraged around the St. Peter’s street hub. Then the waterfront should be used for bars, casual drinks and food and really be the new hub of the town. Other areas need to be focused on housing and office space.

Unfortunately all of that requires clear decision making and long term thinking which aren’t in place at the moment.
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State of the town on 11:54 - Sep 30 with 2243 viewsBluespeed225

Town Center has been hit by the double whammy of Covid and online, same as all regional centers. Forget the rose tinted goggles that people seem to view BSE through, its the same, just a lot, lot smaller. However, and the 'Elephant in the room', is the demographic that inhabit the Town center during daylight hours. I know, I know, cultural diversity, no problem with that, but, and I speak for my wife (unusual i know), she is put off by the gaggles of men around the Town center, and also the re-emergence of the street drinkers. Losing the old manufacturing sites, plus many office/shop staff not around at lunchtime anymore has led to a much changed street scene. The change from retail to leisure hopefully may help. The new school proposal in the old Carr St Co-Op might do something to revive that end.?
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State of the town on 11:56 - Sep 30 with 2239 viewsDubtractor

The buttermarket was completely refurbished about 4 years ago, so can't agree it's on its last legs!

There are a few decent clothes shops, aside from generic chain stores, urban vintage is usually worth a look.

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State of the town on 12:22 - Sep 30 with 2118 viewshype313

It's a bit of a mess, but no different to most towns up and down the country.

The Buttermarket has recently been refurbished and whilst it could do with a few more retailers, it looks a lot smarter.

St Nicholas street has a nice ambience about it and Coes is decent for buying clothes.

Obviously the Internet has killed retailers in Town Centre's which is why places like Next have moved out of town to give them the best chance of survival.

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State of the town on 12:34 - Sep 30 with 2023 viewsMattinLondon

State of the town on 11:50 - Sep 30 by wrightsrightglove

The simple answer to your question is…the internet.

The longer answer is that the above is the reason why all town centres are in decline, internet shopping means that the traditional town centre will never return. Ipswich town centre is way too big and the focus should be on purchasing empty units to convert into much needed housing and then have smaller areas focused on specific uses. Once the botanist comes to the old post office along with Starbucks in the unit next to whsmiths and the cafe and pizza place opens around the corner hopefully this will encourage other eating options to open up close to this area, particularly the unit where pret were supposed to be going into and the old golden lion. Small independent units should then be encouraged around the St. Peter’s street hub. Then the waterfront should be used for bars, casual drinks and food and really be the new hub of the town. Other areas need to be focused on housing and office space.

Unfortunately all of that requires clear decision making and long term thinking which aren’t in place at the moment.


The only way the traditional town centre can survive is to offer customers an experience that you can’t get online. Such as a ten-pin bowling ally or something like that. Something, which can be used for family entertainment during the daytime and be used by adults at night.

Town centres need to adjust that shops can’t sustain a town centre by themselves- and mobile phone shops or charity shops won’t pull in punters with more disposable income frequently.
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State of the town on 12:41 - Sep 30 with 1971 viewsDubtractor

State of the town on 11:50 - Sep 30 by wrightsrightglove

The simple answer to your question is…the internet.

The longer answer is that the above is the reason why all town centres are in decline, internet shopping means that the traditional town centre will never return. Ipswich town centre is way too big and the focus should be on purchasing empty units to convert into much needed housing and then have smaller areas focused on specific uses. Once the botanist comes to the old post office along with Starbucks in the unit next to whsmiths and the cafe and pizza place opens around the corner hopefully this will encourage other eating options to open up close to this area, particularly the unit where pret were supposed to be going into and the old golden lion. Small independent units should then be encouraged around the St. Peter’s street hub. Then the waterfront should be used for bars, casual drinks and food and really be the new hub of the town. Other areas need to be focused on housing and office space.

Unfortunately all of that requires clear decision making and long term thinking which aren’t in place at the moment.


Pretty much agree with all of that.

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State of the town on 12:42 - Sep 30 with 1964 viewsLevelTheLand

State of the town on 11:56 - Sep 30 by Dubtractor

The buttermarket was completely refurbished about 4 years ago, so can't agree it's on its last legs!

There are a few decent clothes shops, aside from generic chain stores, urban vintage is usually worth a look.


Urban Vintage is now called something else, Uniform Research, I think.
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State of the town on 12:53 - Sep 30 with 1912 viewsDubtractor

State of the town on 12:42 - Sep 30 by LevelTheLand

Urban Vintage is now called something else, Uniform Research, I think.


Yep, good point.

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State of the town on 13:39 - Sep 30 with 1764 viewsghostofescobar

State of the town on 11:50 - Sep 30 by wrightsrightglove

The simple answer to your question is…the internet.

The longer answer is that the above is the reason why all town centres are in decline, internet shopping means that the traditional town centre will never return. Ipswich town centre is way too big and the focus should be on purchasing empty units to convert into much needed housing and then have smaller areas focused on specific uses. Once the botanist comes to the old post office along with Starbucks in the unit next to whsmiths and the cafe and pizza place opens around the corner hopefully this will encourage other eating options to open up close to this area, particularly the unit where pret were supposed to be going into and the old golden lion. Small independent units should then be encouraged around the St. Peter’s street hub. Then the waterfront should be used for bars, casual drinks and food and really be the new hub of the town. Other areas need to be focused on housing and office space.

Unfortunately all of that requires clear decision making and long term thinking which aren’t in place at the moment.


Yep, the 'high streets' battle against the internet is lost. Town centres now need to be repurposed as leisure and housing areas. Any regeneration plans that include loads of shops is just poor planning and dead money.

GhostOfEscobar

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State of the town on 15:01 - Sep 30 with 1634 viewsBlueySwede

Just a personal opinion:
We, as customers, can make a difference by supporting our local shops.
Don´t know if it´s the same in the UK but here in Sweden web shops often offers "free" delivery. The day pressure is put on internet retailers to make costumers pay what is actually costs to ship a shirt/medicine/playstation or whatever it won´t be cheaper than buying it from your local shop. The bad thing is that when people finally realises this might be too late.
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State of the town on 15:43 - Sep 30 with 1530 viewswitchdoctor

State of the town on 12:34 - Sep 30 by MattinLondon

The only way the traditional town centre can survive is to offer customers an experience that you can’t get online. Such as a ten-pin bowling ally or something like that. Something, which can be used for family entertainment during the daytime and be used by adults at night.

Town centres need to adjust that shops can’t sustain a town centre by themselves- and mobile phone shops or charity shops won’t pull in punters with more disposable income frequently.


ermm…the buttermarket center has a bowling alley or isn’t that central enough for you?
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State of the town on 16:09 - Sep 30 with 1478 viewssotd78

Add in that you need to pay to park in town and you'll get no uplift. Why would anyone want to struggle into any town centre when there's all the shops on the outskirts; free parking, and all backed up by internet next day order/delivery.
Someone has to wake up and stop the war on the car; offer free car parking and then just perhaps there'll be a revival linked to all the other good points made here.

Blue shirts/white shorts - sotd78

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State of the town on 16:31 - Sep 30 with 1415 viewsGeoffSentence

State of the town on 11:50 - Sep 30 by wrightsrightglove

The simple answer to your question is…the internet.

The longer answer is that the above is the reason why all town centres are in decline, internet shopping means that the traditional town centre will never return. Ipswich town centre is way too big and the focus should be on purchasing empty units to convert into much needed housing and then have smaller areas focused on specific uses. Once the botanist comes to the old post office along with Starbucks in the unit next to whsmiths and the cafe and pizza place opens around the corner hopefully this will encourage other eating options to open up close to this area, particularly the unit where pret were supposed to be going into and the old golden lion. Small independent units should then be encouraged around the St. Peter’s street hub. Then the waterfront should be used for bars, casual drinks and food and really be the new hub of the town. Other areas need to be focused on housing and office space.

Unfortunately all of that requires clear decision making and long term thinking which aren’t in place at the moment.


Internet is not the complete answer, out of town shops has long been and still is another reason why town centres struggle.

With regard to clothes shopping Next, Marks and Spencers and Matalan are three that I can think of with out of town shops in the IPswich area, all with easy parking and probably much cheaper rates than town centre establishments.

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State of the town on 16:43 - Sep 30 with 1396 viewsTractor_Buck

The shopping centre up here in sunny Telford was heading in the same direction a few years back, loads of empty units and a lack of custom which it had lost to the retail parks, so the council invested a wedge of money in regenerating an otherwise run down area on its edge and managed to attract Cineworld, TGI's, several of the other usual suspects and a couple of small/independent cafes and restaurants. It gave the whole town centre a new focus, gave people a reason to come into town, and hey presto (even allowing for Covid), the whole area is buzzing again and the shopping centre is the busiest and most diverse it has ever been in the 30 years I lived here.

It just takes a bit of imagination from people who've worked out that people want something more than just a trip to the shops these days.
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State of the town on 17:18 - Sep 30 with 1311 viewsMattinLondon

State of the town on 15:43 - Sep 30 by witchdoctor

ermm…the buttermarket center has a bowling alley or isn’t that central enough for you?


Has it…had no idea.
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State of the town on 17:28 - Sep 30 with 1292 viewsEwan_Oozami

State of the town on 17:18 - Sep 30 by MattinLondon

Has it…had no idea.


And a Cosy Club, big hit with the kidz according to Youngest Oozami..

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State of the town on 22:37 - Sep 30 with 1103 viewsDubtractor

State of the town on 16:43 - Sep 30 by Tractor_Buck

The shopping centre up here in sunny Telford was heading in the same direction a few years back, loads of empty units and a lack of custom which it had lost to the retail parks, so the council invested a wedge of money in regenerating an otherwise run down area on its edge and managed to attract Cineworld, TGI's, several of the other usual suspects and a couple of small/independent cafes and restaurants. It gave the whole town centre a new focus, gave people a reason to come into town, and hey presto (even allowing for Covid), the whole area is buzzing again and the shopping centre is the busiest and most diverse it has ever been in the 30 years I lived here.

It just takes a bit of imagination from people who've worked out that people want something more than just a trip to the shops these days.


Your mention of Telford means I have to share this. It's a great day out.


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State of the town on 22:52 - Sep 30 with 1061 viewsLord_Lucan

It's the same everywhere, but I suppose my immediate question, if you are looking for jeans - what shops have closed where you could have bought a decent pair of jeans?

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State of the town on 22:57 - Sep 30 with 1040 viewsmylittletown

State of the town on 22:52 - Sep 30 by Lord_Lucan

It's the same everywhere, but I suppose my immediate question, if you are looking for jeans - what shops have closed where you could have bought a decent pair of jeans?


Jonty's of course
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State of the town on 22:58 - Sep 30 with 1037 viewsHerbivore

State of the town on 16:09 - Sep 30 by sotd78

Add in that you need to pay to park in town and you'll get no uplift. Why would anyone want to struggle into any town centre when there's all the shops on the outskirts; free parking, and all backed up by internet next day order/delivery.
Someone has to wake up and stop the war on the car; offer free car parking and then just perhaps there'll be a revival linked to all the other good points made here.


On balance it's probably better that town centres die than that the planet dies.

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State of the town on 05:59 - Oct 1 with 877 viewssolomon

State of the town on 11:54 - Sep 30 by Bluespeed225

Town Center has been hit by the double whammy of Covid and online, same as all regional centers. Forget the rose tinted goggles that people seem to view BSE through, its the same, just a lot, lot smaller. However, and the 'Elephant in the room', is the demographic that inhabit the Town center during daylight hours. I know, I know, cultural diversity, no problem with that, but, and I speak for my wife (unusual i know), she is put off by the gaggles of men around the Town center, and also the re-emergence of the street drinkers. Losing the old manufacturing sites, plus many office/shop staff not around at lunchtime anymore has led to a much changed street scene. The change from retail to leisure hopefully may help. The new school proposal in the old Carr St Co-Op might do something to revive that end.?


i think much of it lays at the feet of the borough and county council, none of them, regardless of political persuasion have shown any vision or aspiration for the town or it’s adjacent infrastructure in recent times. To imply that comparing it to Bury st Edmunds or Colchester is irrelevant is to completely miss the point, an attitude which seems to reflected in those who make the decisions. Ipswich can be a great town, those who control the decisions need to adopt the same mindset and bring in a younger more dynamic and aspirational generation to carry the town forward with new ideas and attitudes.


If you want nice clothes and your pocket can stretch, fenwicks of Colchester.
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State of the town on 07:57 - Oct 1 with 795 viewsBluespeed225

State of the town on 05:59 - Oct 1 by solomon

i think much of it lays at the feet of the borough and county council, none of them, regardless of political persuasion have shown any vision or aspiration for the town or it’s adjacent infrastructure in recent times. To imply that comparing it to Bury st Edmunds or Colchester is irrelevant is to completely miss the point, an attitude which seems to reflected in those who make the decisions. Ipswich can be a great town, those who control the decisions need to adopt the same mindset and bring in a younger more dynamic and aspirational generation to carry the town forward with new ideas and attitudes.


If you want nice clothes and your pocket can stretch, fenwicks of Colchester.


No police station in Town anymore gives some people a lot more leeway, SCC building houses on the boundary of IBC land causes congestion, and they also built the out of Town shopping centres to draw people out of Ipswich central. The quangos that seem to make decisions, Central, Vision, IBC , all fight against each other. They do love a Turkish barber though. I still get my haircut in Town out of loyalty to my barber of 25 years! The feudal IBC/SCC battle is the real problem, the boundary changes in 1974 didn’t matter for the first 30 years!
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State of the town on 09:13 - Oct 1 with 720 viewsBlueBlueBluex2

State of the town on 22:52 - Sep 30 by Lord_Lucan

It's the same everywhere, but I suppose my immediate question, if you are looking for jeans - what shops have closed where you could have bought a decent pair of jeans?


Dunno really. The only place I ever recall buying clothes from is a small shop tucked down next to the Buttermarket 'back entrance'

It still there in some semblance but either my tastes have changed or fashion has as there were no boxes being ticked when I stuck my snout in the window.
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State of the town on 09:34 - Oct 1 with 676 viewsTractor_Buck

State of the town on 22:37 - Sep 30 by Dubtractor

Your mention of Telford means I have to share this. It's a great day out.



Oh that's ace. That's how it looked when I moved here.

Nearly all changed or redeveloped now though, apart from the Spiders Web climbing frame in the park which is still there and still as dangerous.
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