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A new look Cornhill can provide massive boost to our town

I’m really pleased that the Cornhill Project is moving ahead and that the latest designs are now out for public consultation, writes Ipswich Borough Council Leader, David Ellesmere.

I’ll be the first to admit that this project didn’t have the best of starts.

Sir Stuart Rose’s less than complimentary comments about Ipswich put a lot of people’s backs up.

The original images of the winning design for the Cornhill confused many people and led to a lot of misconceptions: there was never any intention to whitewash all the buildings around the Cornhill. The new surface was never planned to be “decking”. The market will be able to go back on the Cornhill if that’s what we all want. Skateboarders will not be welcome.

The new images give a much better impression of what is planned: much improved access to the Town Hall while still maintaining step-free access across the Cornhill. A water feature which will provide a real draw for the town centre. The ability to divide the Cornhill into separate areas for sitting out and public entertainments.

This will provide a huge boost to Ipswich.

Nobody is pretending that this is going to solve all our problems, but it will be a big help. Along with other improvements, like the new multi-storey Crown Car Park, it shows retailers that we have the confidence to invest in our town centre. If we’re not prepared to invest in Ipswich, why should they?

We are already trying to attract extra funding to expand the area of repaving out from the Cornhill to more of the town centre.

The final details of the scheme have not been decided yet. For instance, I know there are mixed views about the design of the tower or even whether there should be a tower at all.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit the exhibition in the Town Hall on Thursday or Saturday, please have your say by filling in the survey online at: www.ipswichvision.org.uk/cornhill

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