December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Hollie-Rae Merrick
Monday, December 3, 2012
PARIS, Montreal, Lisbon, Dublin... Ipswich.
While the new modern Christmas tree is causing controversy among town residents, elsewhere across the globe similar festive displays have be welcomed with open arms.
Made up of 41 aluminium spheres covered with more than 40,000 low energy LED lights, the tree continues to split public opinion with visitors either loving it or hating it.
But the makers of the festive feature today told The Ipswich Star they have never received such a mixed response on their Yuletide creation.
Blachere Illumination, the company behind the tree based in Gloucestershire, have put up similar creations up around France, including Paris’ business district La Defense, and in the Portuguese destination of Lisbon.
– It is made up of 41 aluminium spheres
– 40,000 low energy LED lights are used on the sparkling creation
– The tree was brought over to Ipswich from France on two arctic lorries.
– More than 5,000 people packed onto the town’s Cornhill for the light switch on
Paul Crompton, project manager for Blachere Illumination, said he was pleased the tree was a talking point in the town.
“We were surprised to the response we have had in Ipswich,” he said. “We haven’t had anything like this before so I have taken an interest in what people have been saying.
“We have similar trees in Paris, Canada, and a massive one in Lisbon and the general reception there has been that people love them.”
Mr Crompton attended the light switch-on in the town after an overnight operation to surprise town residents by putting up the tree in the early hours of November 25.
“When we were first approached by Ipswich Central we were asked to create something modern, new and exciting which would get people visiting the town.
“It is a bespoke tree and the lights across the town such as the ones in Carr Street and Tavern Street, all stem back to the tree which is the centrepiece.
“The lights and tree all work together but you can’t please everyone I guess.
“I was there for the light switch on and I could hear some people around me saying how much they liked them and then others seemed unsure.
“The reaction has definitely been interesting.”
Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, previously said: “This is the most talked about tree in East Anglia, probably in the UK this year.”
In total, £100,000 has been invested in the lights, which stretch through the town down to the Waterfront.
The cash for the decorations has come from Ipswich Central and Ipswich Borough Council.
The lights and the tree will be in place until January 5.