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'Wow factor’ comes to Ipswich town centre

Published26th January 2018

Work is set to start next Monday on a major scheme to bring the “wow factor” to Ipswich town centre.

Local contractor Brooks & Wood is turning the Ipswich Vision Group’s Cornhill project into reality by transforming the town’s main square. Four iconic arches, a water feature, seating and exciting new paving will turn the Cornhill into a visitor attraction in its own right and help to boost local businesses.

The project is being co-ordinated by Ipswich Borough Council on behalf of the Ipswich Vision Group and is being funded by the Borough Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central.

Ipswich Vision Group Chair, Terry Hunt, said: “The Cornhill is the biggest and most prominent public open space in Ipswich town centre. As such, it sets the tone for the rest of the town. So it is absolutely vital that the Cornhill has a real ‘wow factor’ for shoppers, visitors, and residents alike. This important project will give Ipswich a town square to be proud of and I am confident this work will act as a catalyst for other improvements in the town centre experience.”

Other members of the Ipswich Vision Group expressed their support for the project:

Councillor David Ellesmere, Leader of Ipswich Borough Council: “This is a major investment by the Ipswich Vision partners in Ipswich town centre and is going to give us a Cornhill we can all be proud of. The start of work marks a real boost for the town and is a very visible sign that Ipswich is on the up.”

Doug Field, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership: “The LEP is pleased to be investing in the redevelopment of the Cornhill. It will boost the economic heart of Ipswich, benefiting all who live, work or visit our county town. I look forward to seeing the project take shape over the coming months.”

Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich: “Suffolk County Council is happy to put funding towards this important project for Ipswich and I look forward to the redevelopment transforming the town centre into a vibrant place for people to enjoy for many years to come.”

Terry Baxter, Chair of Ipswich Central: “This is an important moment in the regeneration of our town centre. It is a statement of intent that Ipswich is a town with ambition, a town ready to face the challenges of promoting its retail and commercial core by investing in the iconic Cornhill. I’m extremely proud that our Vision partners have remained focussed on delivering this exciting project.”

Catherine Johnson, Chair of Suffolk Chamber in Greater Ipswich: “Suffolk Chamber in Greater Ipswich is delighted that work on improving the Cornhill is about to begin. The project sends a clear and tangible statement that the town is on the up and is open to new ideas and open for business.”

Richard Lister, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk: "We are delighted the regeneration of the Cornhill is now underway and we look forward to seeing the finished result which will be enjoyed by students, staff and visitors."

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin: “The ‘feel’ of the town centre is absolutely crucial in getting people to enjoy being there. I know there are lots of different opinions about the plans for the Cornhill but I am sure that when it is finished it will be fresh and inviting and encourage people to meet and stay as well as shop in our beautiful town.”

Meanwhile, the Ipswich town centre market is moving on Tuesday … but not far!

Stallholders will be located by the side of the Town Hall, just a few metres from their old home, and stretch down to Giles Circus and into Queen Street.

Ipswich Borough Council is leading a “Love Your Local Market” campaign, being launched, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day. The Council wants shoppers and the wider public to get behind the market as a vital piece of the town centre offer.

Note to news desks:

Ipswich Vision Group is a partnership of key Ipswich stakeholders who have agreed to deliver a single Vision to create the successful county town centre which Ipswich and Suffolk expect and deserve.

The members of Ipswich Vision are: New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Central, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Greater Ipswich, University of Suffolk and Ipswich MP Sandy Martin.