Hopes Ipswich could get free wifi in town centre when Cornhill is redeveloped

Possible views for the new Cornhill in the heart of Ipswich.

Possible views for the new Cornhill in the heart of Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

A free wifi area could be created in the heart of Ipswich when the Cornhill is rebuilt over the next two years, it has emerged.

But no final decisions have been made and the installation would depend on sponsorship from businesses in the town centre that could benefit from the service.

The public consultation on the future of the Cornhill finishes on Sunday, and officials from the borough council are hoping that they will have received about 2,000 responses by the time they start analysing all the comments.

So far more than 1,700 responses have been received – and more are expected to come through as the deadline looms.

Borough leader David Ellesmere said the idea of putting in free wifi as part of the Cornhill redevelopment had been raised and would certainly be considered.

He said: “I know a lot of people would like it and it would be a good selling point for the town centre – but we would have to look at the practicalities and the cost. We would almost certainly have to talk to Ipswich Central about getting sponsorship from businesses that would benefit from it.

“So it is something we would like to do – but there can be no promises at this stage.”

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Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter agreed that there was support for free broadband in the town centre, but warned it would not be simple to introduce it.

He said: “We are talking about it, but we would have to be satisfied that it was strong enough and reliable enough before businesses would want to sponsor it.”

The consultation on the proposals to level the Cornhill and create a water feature and install a tower run until Sunday, July 31 and can be accessed through the borough website www.ipswich.gov.uk

At present most people have expressed support for improvements to the Cornhill, but the numbers are split on the water feature proposal – and there has been only minimal support for the idea of a tower, which could be dropped if it doe not have public backing.