What a summer it was for Ipswich

Sebastian enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sebastian enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

With the hammer going down on the last Elmer at the auction on Thursday we must finally admit that summer is over.

And what a summer it's been.

We have had our regular, and very popular, series of events supported by Ipswich Borough Council: Music in The Park, the Indian Mela, Maritime Festival and One Big Multi-Cultural Festival.

New this year were the events on the Cornhill such as Windrush Day, Global Rhythm, Last Night of the Proms, Films on the Cornhill and Retro Games Day.

There have also been a number of independent festivals that the Borough has helped out with such as the Jazz Festival, Art Eat and, only last week, Sound City.

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And, of course we have had the big-name entertainers. Normally Rod Stewart headlining at Portman Road would be the big gig of the summer but, this time, he was dwarfed by the four days of Ed Sheeran concerts.

I am incredibly proud of the role the Borough Council played in bringing Ed to Ipswich and ensuring that the concerts ran so smoothly.

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But the constant background to this summer has been the Elmer Trail. Hats off to Norman Lloyd and his team from St Elizabeth Hospice who have done it again.

Right up to the end, you could see families going around Ipswich with their maps, ticking off Elmers.

The Borough Council has been heavily involved in support the trail, providing locations for elephants, hosting Elmer HQ and the auction at the Town Hall and sponsoring two elephants which sold for nearly £6,000.

We were keen to support the hospice, not only because it is a great cause, but because of the huge economic benefits such a trail brings to the town.

Many people have visited the town centre who would not normally come here. Each one will have spent money while they were here, helping to support town centre businesses. Hopefully they had a good time and will return in future.

Town centres all across the country are facing massive challenges and will have to adapt to survive. Our summer events programme is undoubtedly a key component of what a successful town centre will need in future.

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