Two choices for Ipswich market – but no single voice among traders
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The site of Ipswich market while the Cornhill is being redeveloped is set to become clear by the end of next month – with two choices up for discussion.
One proposal would see the existing stalls on Princes Street between the Town Hall and old post office building remain and the rest of the market cascade down to Giles Circus and the top of Queen Street.
The other would see stalls set up outside shops in Westgate Street and Tavern Street.
The Princes Street option is the public favourite – more than 70% of people who took part in an online poll in the summer backed this move.
It would be on an area that is already designated as a market site, and stalls at the top of Queen Street would have access to power that was installed there for their operations.
However some traders would prefer to set up their stalls on the town’s traditional main shopping street. Others are keen to move to the Giles Circus area because they fear there would not be enough room for them on the main street.
Borough council leader David Ellesmere said both options were currently under consideration: “We have been consulting with market traders on a number of viable options. We don’t consider these to be final options, as they are very likely to change as a result of these consultations which are not yet complete.
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“We are extremely disappointed that a stall-holder has chosen to discuss these options outside of the group while our consultation is ongoing.
“We would dispute any claim that the market traders have rejected one of the potential options as this is simply not the case.
“We don’t have any plans to relocate the whole market to Queen Street as it would not fit. Stalls could continue to be located on the top section of Princes Street and on Giles Circus, with a small number located on Queen Street.
“All potential options would leave the market visible from the Cornhill.”
If the market were set up along Tavern Street/Westgate Street a new Act of Parliament would have to be obtained which would be expensive and take time – delaying the Cornhill work.
And a Tavern Street/Cornhill market could not take place on as many days of the week – and there would need to be care taken to ensure emergency access.
Tavern Street market would only operate in Ipswich two days a week
Market traders in Ipswich were trying to maintain a public silence about the results of their talks with the borough council – but it is understood that if it goes on to Tavern Street/Westgate Street it would only be for two days a week.
Meanwhile shoppers in the town we spoke to all agreed it would be better for the market to be relocated to the Princes Street/Giles Circus area than along Tavern Street and Westgate Street.
The idea of trading only two days a week would not go down well with many traders who operate from the town centre four days a week.
It would also cost traders more to rent their pitches if they were along those streets because the council would have greater costs – and there would be no power supply to them.
Shoppers that we spoke to also said starting the market in Princes Street and using Giles Circus would be better for them because there would be more room for the stalls to display their products.