WATCH New fountains light up the newly-completed Cornhill
PUBLISHED: 20:27 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 13 November 2018
Watch the brand new fountains light up Ipswich Cornhill after it finally reopened today following nine months' work to redesign the heart of the town centre.
The barriers around the work came down this afternoon, giving shoppers and other visitors their first chance to see the new-look square in all its glory.
The water feature was switched on in the middle of the square, and during the evening the lights have also been switched on to bring a new look to the heart of the town centre.
The nine-month £3.6m project to refurbish the Cornhill was delayed by two days because of problems with the balustrades – but has opened in time for weekend shoppers to see what it has to offer.
Finishing off the refurbishment project will be the four stone Gateways, which will be installed later as the project team do not want to interrupt the festive lights switch-on.
Ipswich Vision Group chairman, Terry Hunt, said: “Suffolk’s county town now has a real ‘wow factor’ for shoppers, visitors and residents alike. The new Cornhill is something we can all be proud of and I am confident it will be a real boost to businesses.”
Providing a boost for businesses is a huge part of the project and Terry Baxter, chairman of Ipswich Central, added: “This vibrant heart of our retail quarter, together with an aspirational timetable of events, will help encourage new visitors to Ipswich and to ensure that those already here stay longer.
“The Cornhill improvements are part of a wider strategy that will help our town centre be the very best it can be and shows the strength of working together to achieve that aim.”
The Cornhill will be the focus once again for the big switch-on on November 22 and the council and its partners are planning a series of events to celebrate the new space, including a festive craft fair in December.
Ipswich will again have a festive tree, bigger and more brightly lit and decorated than last year. The tree has been bought by Ipswich businesses and arranged by Ipswich Central.
The festive countdown will be followed by a ceremony later in the month or in December, when the mayor will help children bury a time capsule under the Gateways.
The time capsule will contain a University of Suffolk prospectus, an Ipswich Town programme and a recording of the 1868 Ipswich New Town Hall Polka.