Where does Queen Street work leave the refurbishment of Ipswich Cornhill?

An architects impression of the proposed new look for Ipswich Cornhill

An architects impression of the proposed new look for Ipswich Cornhill - Credit: Archant

With work to rebuild Queen Street now back on the political agenda, this should pave the way for the redevelopment of the Cornhill in the heart of town.

The winning design in the competition to redesign the Cornhill was unveiled a year ago today and includes a level area in front of the Town Hall with an easy access to the building, a tower feature, space for market stalls, and an area for outdoor cafes.

The changes to the Cornhill are expected to cost between £3-£4million with the money coming from several public and private sector sources.

The borough has already pledged £1m, and is looking for this to be matched by investment from the county council.

The remaining money is being sought from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector sources – largely from businesses who are members of Ipswich Central.

The borough has been holding off pressing for the work to get started until the Queen Street development gets under way because the market stalls would need to move there while any work at the Cornhill is carried out.

However as soon as the Queen Street work was confirmed yesterday, borough council leader David Ellesmere said it was now time to look forward to the next phase of the town centre regeneration.

He said: “Queen Street is very important, but now that is going ahead it is time to look ahead to the Cornhill work. The borough has included its contribution of £1m in its budget, but we need to get a contribution from the county council before any other money can come.”

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Yesterday there was confusion about whether the county council would pay anything further towards the refurbishment of the Cornhill.

Officials at the county insisted that the Queen Street work should be seen as the county’s contribution to the Cornhill work.

A council spokesman said: “We are spending £600,000 more than was originally planned on Queen Street.”

However there are still hopes that the county could find other ways to back the Cornhill project.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said his understanding was that the county would be prepared to talk about the Cornhill once the Queen Street work was under way.

He said: “I know there is a commitment this work from the leadership at the county – we are talking about a major development in Suffolk’s county town.”

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