Redesigning Cornhill and pedestrianising Queen Street and Princes Street are top priorities for Ipswich town centre

Building work in Tavern Street, Ipswich

Building work in Tavern Street, Ipswich

Suffolk County Council’s new cabinet member for Ipswich is set to look at three priorities for his authority to improve the town centre over the next two and a half years.

Christopher Hudson

Christopher Hudson - Credit: Archant

Christopher Hudson is also deputy leader of the county council and joined me on a walk around the town centre to see what could be done to give it a boost.

On the positive side, he said the investment coming into the town centre was a clear sign that confidence in Ipswich was on the rise – with work under way at both main shopping centres and fitting out of two stores on Tavern Street.

Work is due to start later in the summer on pedestrianising Queen Street and Princes Street – and introducing facilities to allow the market to move to this part of the town centre.

Ensuring that this work is completed on schedule – by Easter next year – is set to be one of Mr Hudson’s priorities.

Once this work is complete, it should enable the redesign of the Cornhill to be completed – and hopefully work would be able to start in early 2017, enabling it to be completed by Christmas that year.

Mr Hudson’s third priority is to be ensuring paving around the Buttermarket shopping centre is repaired or replaced.

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It was completed when the centre opened in 1992, but now there are many broken paving bricks and in some places these have been replaced by uneven fillings.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the priorities were a good start – but he looked forward to achieving much more in the town centre.

He said: “Over the next five years we should look at re-paving all the town centre and extending it along Museum Street and Upper Brook Street – we have to be ambitious about the future for Ipswich.”