The Nwes portfolio showcases a large variety of office space; from industrial units and workshops to high-end sector-specific incubation hubs. Somewhere in the middle of this eclectic mix is the imposing, historic, flagship Suffolk Enterprise Centre, Ipswich.
Occupying a quarter of the Felaw Maltings complex, Suffolk Enterprise Centre (nicknamed Felaw within Nwes) is a world away from the modernity of OrbisEnergy or the upcoming KLIC. Its heritage and history give the building endless character in every room, a constant reminder of Felaw’s prosperous past.
Stories of industry of days gone by silently seep out of the external brick walls of the buildings – an old Maltings complex build between 1904 and 1911 for RW Paul. Their position on the Ipswich waterfront brought prosperity; converting barley into malt for transportation to the growing European and worldwide markets.
As automation took over in the 1970’s and 80’s, the buildings became redundant, but not before being listed as Grade II premises. Storm damage and decay took hold and the buildings were placed on the ‘at risk’ register, before being given a new lease of life as office premises in the early 21st Century. Nwes has been leasing space in the building since 2009, although many tenants have been there much longer.
The building is unique in its style, with rabbit-run corridors and split-level windows, giving a real sense of history to the tenants and their 150 staff members who walk its halls today. Previously split over seven levels, the five floors we have today create a real juxtaposition with the past, the window positioning a true reflection of this.
The internal space of the building, converted into meeting rooms retain the character enjoyed by the offices, with their exposed brickwork and large pillars.
From the outside, it’s a flagship building on the Ipswich waterfront, one you can easily fall in love with. On the inside, it’s a busy dormitory-style business hub teaming with professionals and driven organisations.
The Felaw Maltings complex throughout its history has proudly and successfully housed the trade of its day, buzzing these days to the sounds of computers and telephones rather than furnaces and shovels, and I’m sure that the buildings will continue to support the growth of business in Ipswich for centuries to come.
Written by Nwes Manager for Suffolk, Linsey Cullen.