Suffolk

Ipswich town square revamp 'has stalled'

Artist's impression of the tower on the Cornhill Image copyright Ipswich Borough Council
Image caption The winning design included a tower and a raised platform to level-off part of Cornhill

Businesses leaders have expressed frustration at progress in securing £3m needed to revamp Ipswich's main square.

Ipswich Central, which represents businesses in the area, said it had secured £800,000 from the borough council, but needed money from the county council.

A winning design for Cornhill was revealed last year.

Suffolk County Council said it had committed £21m to other parts of the town centre.

Ipswich Central wants to redevelop Cornhill as part of its long-term plans to attract more shops and visitors.

The comments about funding Cornhill came after Conservative-run Suffolk County Council announced it would be spending about £1m to pedestrianise Queen Street and Princes Street around the Giles Circus statue, allowing the market on Cornhill to expand.

Image caption Suffolk County Council's plan would allow the market to move to streets around the Giles Circus statue
Image caption Raising bollards would prevent traffic from using Queen Street on market days

The Cornhill redesign includes building a raised platform to level-out the square, which currently slopes, and creating a steel and glass tower sculpture.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: "It's taking too long, I'm frustrated and we need to kick those that can make it happen.

"It is something that mustn't go on the back burner as it is a project that is probably the most important thing in terms of transforming people's perception of retail in the town."

Image caption The market takes place on Cornhill on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said the authority was "100% committed to seeing Ipswich thrive as a busy and bustling town".

"[This] can clearly be seen through our key investment in transport infrastructure, with over £21m spent in the last few years.

"Our announcement to further develop the Giles Circus area will transform it and improve the much-needed link between the centre and the waterfront."

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