Market future agreed

MARKET traders are today celebrating the news that their future on the Ipswich Cornhill has been secured until at least September 2004.Ipswich Council today revealed that an extended licence has been granted for the market to stay on the Cornhill beyond June this year, which is when the current six month licence is due to expire.

MARKET traders are today celebrating the news that their future on the Ipswich Cornhill has been secured until at least September 2004.

Ipswich Council today revealed that an extended licence has been granted for the market to stay on the Cornhill beyond June this year, which is when the current six month licence is due to expire.

And in an added boost to the flourishing market, the council has also revealed plans to extend the market into some surrounding streets.

Queens Street and Princes Street are among the possible options as sites for expansion, although no definite decision has been made as yet.


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Peter Gardiner, the leader of Ipswich Council, said the extended licence for a market on the Cornhill would enable the council time to go through the legal process of getting permission for expansion.

This will be applied for through an Act of Parliament, which is expected to cost the council around £30,000.

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Mr Gardiner said the extended licence spelt out the council's commitment to the market.

"It is important to extend the licence in order to give the traders some security in terms of length of time.

"We've been satisfied that the operation has been successful from our point of view and for the market traders themselves," he said.

Mike Young, chairman of Ipswich market traders co-operative, said the extension would provide the traders with some much-needed security.

He said: "It's very important news for the market. It gives the traders some confidence about the future and we can start to plan.

"The council has said that it's happy with the market and there is total support from the public.

"We've had lots of interest from new traders and obviously it's a tremendous site. We've got to keep it tidy but it's a small price to pay for where it is."

He also welcomed the plans to expand the market and said: "Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and we've got to accept that it's a very small market considering the size of the area.

"It's still not going to be massive, but I think the expansion will be badly needed by September 2004."

Ipswich Market: The story so far…

When Ipswich Market left its site in Tower Ramparts in 1984, it had a total of 84 stallholders and was highly successful.

It then moved to the Civic Centre car park but trade gradually began to flag and the number of stallholders eventually dwindled into single figures.

The Evening Star joined forces with the market traders and began a campaign to have the market moved to the Cornhill to secure its future.

The campaign proved victorious and on February 20, 2002, it was announced the market would move to the Ipswich Cornhill.

From May 2002, the three-day market blossomed in its prime town centre location and the number of stallholders has now reached a total of 17.

A waiting list has been drawn up of traders hoping to come to the market. It is hoped to accommodate some of these in a possible expanded market.

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