Work to continue on Cornhill gateway once Christmas tree is removed

The Cornhill Christmas Tree will be coming down after Twelfth Night. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Cornhill Christmas Tree will be coming down after Twelfth Night. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

The Christmas Tree on Ipswich Cornhill will remain in place for at least another week it has been revealed, although the town’s Christmas lights will be switched off at Twelfth Night next weekend.

The tree itself will stay in situ for a few more days as the lights are removed and contractors can be called in to take it down. Once removed it will be cut up and recycled like thousands of other trees from homes around the town.

The tree has been the largest seen by most people in the town centre and was provided by Ipswich Central which represents the business community in the heart of town – especially retailers.

After the tree has been removed Ipswich Council will move in to finish off the Four Gateways plinths outside Debenhams’ store.

The stone will be polished to produce a more glossy surface which officials hope will be more attractive – and should be much easier to keep clean than the raw, matt stone.

The council hopes to finish polishing the Four Gateways – dubbed Cornhenge by some visitors – during the week starting January 14.

However the exact timing for the completion of the work is dependent on the weather.

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A spokesman for the council said: “We have a timetable to complete the work but we can only say it should be done by the middle of the month, because if it is very wet or there are other weather problems we may have to delay things a bit.”

Once the Christmas period has passed, work is expected to resume on fitting out the new Pret a Manger takeaway and cafe in the former Grimwades store on the Cornhill.

No exact opening day for that has yet been revealed, but it is expected to open its doors by the early spring in a bid to attract hungry shoppers and town centre workers who will want to eat their lunches on the newly-revamped Cornhill during the spring and summer months.

And over the next few weeks Ipswich council, along with Ipswich Central and the Ipswich Vision partnership, is expected to unveil a programme of events on the Cornhill for the next few months.

The water feature – which was switched on briefly when the Cornhill first opened in November, is expected to become operational again from early spring in 2019.