Ipswich people are looking forward to the Christmas lights switch-on which will have the stunning new Cornhill as a festive backdrop.
The Mayor of Ipswich, Jane Riley, will join the cast of the Regent panto Snow White for the traditional festive countdown from the Town Hall on Thursday 22nd November.
The Cornhill attracted shoppers and visitors over the weekend as the barriers came down and people were able to walk across the main square.
It has been constructed by local firm Brooks & Wood under the direction of architects Hall McKnight and has transformed the town centre in time for the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
In have come a spectacular and complex new paving scheme, a stunning water feature, new benches and some ornamental trees. Finishing off the refurbishment project will be the four stone gateways, which will be installed later as the project team do not want to interrupt the festive lights switch-on.
The new Cornhill is a project supported by the Ipswich Vision Group and led by Ipswich Borough Council, and its partners the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central.
Ipswich Vision Group Chair, Terry Hunt, said: “Suffolk’s county town now has a real ‘wow factor’ for shoppers, visitors and residents alike. The new Cornhill is something we can all be proud of and I am confident it will be a real boost to businesses. Now let’s look forward to celebrating an Ipswich Christmas and many events taking place in the heart of our town centre.”
Providing a boost for businesses is a huge part of the project and Terry Baxter, Chair of Ipswich Central, added: “This vibrant heart of our retail quarter, together with an aspirational timetable of events, will help encourage new visitors to Ipswich and to ensure that those already here stay longer, bringing the associated financial benefits with them. The Cornhill improvements are part of a wider strategy that will help our town centre be the very best it can be and shows the strength of working together to achieve that aim.”
The lights switch-on will be the first big event on the new space. Ipswich will again have a “real” festive tree, bigger and more brightly lit and decorated than last year. The tree has been bought by Ipswich businesses and arranged by Ipswich Central.