Ipswich: Compromise being sought in great market debate
BOTH sides in the debate over the future of the Cornhill and Ipswich Market are trying to find a compromise position.
But the market traders who would be most directly affected by any changes to the area insist they are not prepared to move anywhere.
Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said that he did not believe it would be necessary for the market to move away from the Cornhill for that part of town to reach its full potential.
He felt that with a re-configuring of some of the stalls it should be possible to both retain the market and allow more space for pavement cafes.
The most crucial location is the area just outside the former Grimwades/Clinton Cards store.
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It is understood that restaurant chain Wagamama is interested in taking over the site, but it would want a number of tables outside on the Cornhill.
However the space immediately in front of the unit is occupied by a fruit and vegetable stall – and the fish stall.
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They are seen as two of the busiest stalls on the market – and both insist they would not be prepared to move elsewhere in any shake-up.
Mr Clement said: “We have never said that the market should leave the Cornhill, but we should look at changing things there to see if it can be made more attractive.
“The market is very important to the town, and we want a thriving market. But if by making some changes we bring more people into the town centre, surely that would be good.”
Mr Clement felt that if stall holders could be persuaded that changes would be good for them, they may be prepared to consider changes on the Cornhill.
Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said it would be necessary to find compromises because everyone agreed they ultimately wanted the same thing.
He said: “We have had two recognised retail experts giving their views on what is best. Sir Stuart Rose said the market should move to clear space at the Cornhill while Mary Portas said thriving markets are vital to thriving town centres.
“We have to talk to people to try to work out some kind of compromise here. We all want the same thing – for Ipswich to have a thriving, bustling town centre.”
How should the Cornhill develop? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com
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