Cornhill fountains to be turned off until spring
- Credit: Archant
They are one of the most striking features of the new-look Ipswich Cornhill – but the water fountains in front of the Town Hall will not be switched on again until the early spring.
The water feature was one of the most popular features of the new Cornhill when it was finally unveiled at the start of this month – children were quick to run in and out of the gushing fountains.
However they were turned off when the Christmas Tree and the elements of the Four Gateways arrived last week – and now it has been confirmed they will not go on again until the weather starts to improve in the early spring.
A spokesman for Ipswich Council said: “We never planned to have them on during the winter. We put them on to test them and to show people what they were like when the barriers first came down.
“But we knew the weather was going to mild and there was no danger of them freezing. Obviously that would be dangerous – no where with these kind of fountains has them running through the winter.”
The water feature had been running perfectly before it was turned off for the arrival of the tree and the Four Gateways and council officials are confident it will work well during next spring, summer and autumn months.
Many other towns and resorts have similar fountains – and almost all in the United Kingdom are switched off during the winter months to avoid the risk of pedestrians slipping on them.
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The work to polish the Four Gateways to give them a shiny surface should be completed early in January, soon after the Christmas Tree has been removed.
Their appearance is expected to change dramatically and council officials are confident the public reaction to them will soften. Over the weekend there were more positive comments about the Cornhill on social media – but the Four Gateways continue to be controversial.
Work is continuing on converting the former Grimwades store into a new Pret a Manger which is due to open early next year – by the spring it is hoped that people will be sitting on street furniture beside the Four Archways eating their lunch al fresco.
Then their attention is set to turn to improving other parts of the town centre as part of a new Pubilc Realm Strategy for the heart of Ipswich over the next three years.