Grandma’s home is nearly ready for her safe return

IPSWICH: Grandma is getting a good wash and brush-up before returning to the town centre later this month.

The bronze statue of the much-loved character created by Ipswich cartoonist Carl Giles has been away on her holidays since the start of the year while her home was rebuilt.

She should have been back in August, but bad weather and issues with the engineering have delayed completion.

Her home will now be on the other side of the road and will have pride of place in the town’s newest landmark – Giles Circus.

The new open space has been created at the junction of Princes Street, Queen Street and the Buttermarket.

The work has cost �650,000 with most of the cash coming from the Haven Gateway Partnership because of the tourist benefits for the town in celebrating one of its celebrities.

Remodelling the roadway and pavements has enabled borough engineers to produce a larger public space – with five mature trees and the Giles statue raised on a granite plinth.

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Work started in February and the scheme will be officially re-opened on September 27.

Traffic will be able to resume from Princes Street and traffic flow for delivery vehicles will be reversed along the Buttermarket.

The motorcycle parking spaces have been removed and cycle parking has been provided alongside the Corn Exchange.

Tanya de Hoedt, the borough councillor with responsibility for transport, said: “The new-look Giles Circus will transform the whole town centre and give a much more people-friendly atmosphere.”

The delay had not been a major problem: “We had hoped to open at the end of August but bad weather and engineering delays caused by the high quality materials used knocked us slightly off course.”

n Is Giles Circus a valuable addition? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail