October 24 2014 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Monday, October 15, 2012
CHRISTMAS markets are set to turn the town centre into a winter wonderland during the festive season.
Bursting with gifts and festive treats a 150-stall market will trade for four days from November 15 to 18 in a bid to attract shoppers to the town.
Stretching along Queen Street and Princes Street, the stalls selling arts and crafts, local produce, delicious culinary delights from a variety of countries and much more will line the route to the Cornhill.
Wafts of mulled wine and Christmas music will accompany shoppers as they are drawn to the heart of the shopping quarter.
There the town’s larger stores will open for their first night of the late-night shopping season to coincide with the fun event.
And beaming smiles across the faces of youngsters emerging from Santa’s grotto will help build the excitement in Cromwell Square.
The Christmas market is being organised by the borough council in association with events specialists Market Square Group which runs similar events across the country – including Bury St Edmunds.
And it is not the only shopping spectacular planned for the town. A Dickensian Market will see traders line Fore Street in early December bringing a much-need boost to the road which has been blighted by roadworks in recent months.
Students from UCS are involved in the organisation of that event which aims to entertain younger visitors to the town - and improve the town’s image, which ties in with the Star’s I Love Ipswich campaign.
A spokesman for the borough said if the Christmas market was as successful as they hoped, it could become a regular feature at the start of the festive season in the town.
“When Sir Stuart Rose visited, he made it clear that we should listen more to what young people want in the town,” he said. “By involving UCS students in the planning of the Fore Street event we are doing that.”
Linking the Waterfront with the town centre, the Fore Street market is expected to help draw shoppers the length and breadth of Ipswich in the run-up to Christmas.
Ipswich councillor with responsibility for economic development Carole Jones said the markets should be a great boost for the town.
She said: “The Christmas season is very important for retailers, and it is really good to get things off with a bang at the start of this period.
“Having a fantastic Christmas market like this will help to attract people to the town and should show off what a great amount Ipswich has to offer.”
And the town’s mayor, Mary Blake, is also looking forward to the markets: “What you need is something a bit different, and these markets will give Ipswich something to really catch the eye.”
n What do you think about the plans? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org