December 6 2013 Latest news:
BY MATT BUNN
Monday, December 10, 2012
‘TIS the season to be jolly
And there will be plenty of beaming traders in one Ipswich street today after thousands of shoppers braved the December chill and turned out to support a Christmas market.
The event in Fore Street provided a welcome boost for businesses in the area which have seen a major decline in footfall due to nearly seven months of roadworks by National Grid.
Organisers hope the market will help breathe life back into the street.
Sheila Bloom, joint owner of Ladies that Lunch and Blackfriars Tea Room, said: “It has been absolutely brilliant.
“It has been a very difficult time and this has given us a tremendous boost – we are so impressed.”
Paula Thorrington, owner of Paula Jayne Creations, had a stall at the market.
She added: “It has been fantastic – really busy.
“We will have to do another one!”
The market, which took place between the Spread Eagle Pub and Star Lane, was organised by the borough council, Ipswich Waterfront Action and Fore Street traders.
More than 3,000 people visited the market, which boasted about 30 stalls, providing food, drink and gifts, and a variety of entertainment including dancers and musicians.
Businesses in Fore Street also set up stalls outside their shops to promote their products.
James Young, the borough council’s events manager, said: “The whole idea is to raise the profile of Fore Street and to say that it is open.
“I think we have done that by putting on a great market.”
Jay Harvey, of Ipswich Waterfront Action, added: “So many of the businesses have come out and had stalls – it has been a tremendous response from them.”
Work by National Grid in the area to replace gas lines took nearly seven months to complete.
There were fears among many business owners that they were going to be forced into closure as shoppers stayed away from the area, unsure if the street was open for business.