Ipswich Cornhill: Market Or Open Space?

Discussion in 'Local Politics' started by dan5, Aug 22, 2017.

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  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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    2,126
    Going back to an almost 5 year old article by Paul Geater, where the debate was whether Ipswich Market should stay or go, with Ipswich Cornhill Regeneration it appears the conclusion is likely to be neither!
    diningormarket.jpg

    Leave the market

    Move the market

    Same Sh!t, another year...

    The mismanagement of the town centre continues...

    The "pavement cafes" and public space events agenda that Ipswich Central and Ben Gummer were pushing from the early days, and the very same people approving of the most recent design which allows neither, controversially approved by Ipswich Borough Council earlier this year and work to start in January 2018... just shows the lengths of dishonesty some people would go to for their ideals to be realised.

    If you believe the Cornhill Regeneration will...
    1. Fully occupy empty shops in the town,
    2. Attract top brands,
    3. Increase footfall and dwell time,
    4. Boost tourism, and
    5. Create new jobs
    ... you are completely deluded. :D I am sure footfall will increase at first when people go to check it out.

    What a waste of £3.5 million!

    Well, David Ellesmere made it clear the market won't move, we will see about that.
     
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    • martinc

      martincFounder Member

      Messages:
      882
      market does seem to have shrunk a bit recently. I wonder if its stall holders taking summer holidays, if not then its really on the decline.
       
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      dan5

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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      I took a photo of Ipswich Market the other week (a month ago now) and the market was pretty much dead. I don't go into town frequently enough to categorically state it is always running with few stalls but from what I see (traders are forced to stay all day they cannot pack up early) always a lot of space on the Cornhill.

      At this rate the Ipswich Market could comfortably fit in Queen Street without over spill... Since relocating from out-of-the-way Civic Centre car park about 15 years ago, what was initially improved, has gone downhill under the borough council's leadership. The market might as well not be on at all.

      With our Royal Charters etc. it is a disgrace the borough council has allowed this to happen. After they wreck the Cornhill next year they need to find a permanent site for the market. With the old cattle market bus station looking like it will remain there for some time, they need to get rid of the Cromwell Square car park and locate the market there with the amazing Willis Building backdrop. A stone throw away from the independents in St Peters Street, not far from Cornhill, various car parks and the rail station, arguably half way between the town centre and the waterfront...

      They also need to market the market better... promote it a bit more (sorry a lot more)... and don't expect to make any money out of it. It is an alternative to the chain supermarkets the borough should be supporting. Dare I be as ambitious to state it should be a Monday to Saturday market, perhaps boot sale on a Sunday? Not all traders will opt for everyday... but supermarkets are either 24/7 (not Sundays) or have long hours... to have a part time market in the 21st century is stupid... and it could well become award winning with such high availability.
       
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      • watchfull

        watchfullFounder Member

        Messages:
        120
        May I also add that it was only a few days ago that Martinc mentioned some thing about the progress of the archeological dig, I was in the town myself this week all I saw was railings around an area and a few brick paviours had been removed -- no progress there -- if they want to find out about our past they are digging in the wrong place -- where they are digging use to be the 'Shambles' In about the centre of the Cornhill stood the market cross - 700 - in the southeast corner was the first super market the 'Rotunda' - 1794 - I think that they might be digging in the wrong places don't you? or is it their way of bamboozling the people of Ipswich just so they can get their way and do what they want with our Cornhill? -- If the Cornhill turn out to be anything like was first suggested it will become the finest skate board and drunkards place in Suffolk
         
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        dan5

        dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

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        We will see. They might just be wanting to discourage people using the Cornhill so people forget the space that was once there, before being marketed this new space... a wet dock #2 if you like.

        As I have also highlighted recently, the borough is struggling to keep the ancient charter market going, before they started these works I managed to take a photo showing all the space on the Cornhill. I don't see any of the market stalls being forced down Queen Street - but it only lasted for a day, so we will see.

        I did think exactly the same as you. Their choice of location and limited depth is a bit of a surprise. Any shallow dig near the town hall is highly unlikely to reveal anything as it would have been discovered when they built the current Town Hall (if we ignore the foundations, there is rooms below the Cornhill paved surface level) or more recently when they paved the pedestrianised town centre!

        Could there be something of significance left undiscovered at the Cornhill? Likely. +-Seems more like they need to relocate a body overnight before the contractors move in January. :D 

        They say the archaeological dig is due to last for 2 weeks. Will be mayhem. The borough really needs to sort out the charter market - even if that means getting a private business to overtake the running of it. Part of this needs to be moving the market to a dedicated space - not Queen Street or Lloyds Avenue - somewhere like Cromwell Square.

        The new Cornhill design is an absolute disgrace. It is disgusting. no one wants it. It displaces the market (although I think it would be better relocated if the council makes an effort in marketing it) and public space... and destroys the architecture. It probably bothers me more than the Upper Orwell Crossings!!
         
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        • watchfull

          watchfullFounder Member

          Messages:
          120
          Did not King John give Ipswich the Charter in 1200 fifteen years before the Magna Carter was signed -- come on IBC show your metal and start taking control of things -- and just not the market place.
           
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          dan5

          dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

          Messages:
          2,126
          Well, they have "tried". Firstly, when the test trading moved out of Buttermarket Shopping Centre and Tower Ramparts Shopping Centres due to lack of funds (i.e. limited budget) they moved it on to offering a stall on the market (not sure if anyone ever utilised that space). Secondly, they promote the market near the Tesco roundabout... (roundabout sponsorship) apparently some traders come from North Essex who probably see this and are forced to pay a contribution for it.

          Why would anyone properly utilise an old-fashioned market like Ipswich Charter Market?

          Supermarkets (or hypermarkets as many are referred to) and shops (i.e. convenience shops, local and district centres) are much more convenient. Open longer hours (supermarkets in particular) and every day.

          Most Ipswich market traders get their produce (as far as I understand it, welcome to be corrected) from a wholesaler in a similar way to small shops... Without a doubt the quality of some produce is probably far better than down your local supermarket. Small businesses stand very little chance of getting into supermarkets even with the recent regional focus to suppliers. A market trader could resell local produce on behalf of local businesses, or for artists etc. Such a missed opportunity.

          Cornhill is very high footfall for people already with their own pre-planned actions - be it on their way to work or on lunch-break, or non-food shopping. I would be very surprised if many of that footfall is converted into curious people, let alone sales. When you include the annoying salespeople and chuggers on Westgate Street makes it worse. People are just too busy to check it out. I am sure over 96% of people buying from the market specifically set out to go to the market and probably delayed their trip into town to the day a market is on to allow that to happen.

          How could it be fixed?

          Some of it is a sign of the times but many towns and cities have very successful markets. Ipswich's struggle isn't down to people not wanting a market anymore. Far many alternatives and distractions.

          Marketing needs to be a key element moving forward. It is dirt cheap for social media. A basic website listing all the traders, pictures of their stall and days they are there. Facebook! (edit: seems they had one but some reason stopped updates) Twitter! (Appears there was two Ipswich Market and Cornhill Market - the latter by the dodgy manager who stole the money?)

          Create a venue. Closest example I guess is similar to Suffolk Food Hall in a way. Not necessary need to be indoors but if they were stalls in a field no one would go. They have a name for their venue. Two obvious locations for relocating the market are Cromwell Square (next to large landmark and near indie shops) or on old Woolworths Building site (i.e. surrounded by parking and can boost Carr Street). Queen Street (and Princes Street) are public highways with access for traffic when the market isn't on. Stupid location for it. Clearly an afterthought. Although Cromwell Square is further away, it is only marginal. As far as public transport is concerned it is more convenient. The bus gyratory has bus stops at quite some margin all around the Cornhill.

          A brand! I think Ipswich Market is too generic. Should be promoted as Ipswich Charter Market. People would still call it Ipswich Market or simply the market.

          Daily market! Perhaps not Sundays, but the market should be open daily in the week and on Saturdays. A good mix of traders and some hot food stalls.

          Should it be fixed?

          Yes. We have had a market in some form of description before we got the charter and Ipswich has been a trading port since the 7th century. The borough council has no right to allow the market to deteriorate like this and allow the county council to bully the market to be moved to the side street of Queen Street.

          We have to be fair - it isn't a reflection on the market traders themselves. We have had new additions including the Coffee Link red fire engine thing. The borough council is far too passive and is operating like back-in-the-day effectively taking a tax from the trading... except, back then everyone lived in the town and there was no alternatives.

          The market may never be a commercial success but the council is funded by taxpayers and should uphold the right thing to do... rather ironic when you think the council dates back to 1974, 774 years after that charter. They are sitting on a pretty pile of reserves (that is stored taxes to me and you) they could dig in to get such a project off the ground. They seem to be investing a lot of money recently but unwilling to dig in to bail the market out.

          Will it be fixed?

          No. The car park brings in an income for very little effort. They don't have enough stall holders for a quarter of the potential new market site probably and wouldn't be able to fill the rest.
           
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          dan5

          dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

          Messages:
          2,126
          Market history at an end?

          Going back to an Evening Star article from 2002 (updated in 2010)...

          Market history at an end?

          By no other than Mr G! 9 years in 2002? Add another 15 years...

          The last line has summed it up... market in decline and there needs to be a permanent location for it.
           
        • wrightie

          wrightieFounder Member

          Messages:
          33
          Just came across this video.
           
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            dan5

            dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

            Messages:
            2,126
            Thank you for posting this.

            The newspaper is asking people whether they would like the market to relocate to Queen Street/Princes Street (where Suffolk Highways have installed power points for it and this is the plan anyway) or Tavern Street/Westgate Street (which doesn't have room for it and the council wouldn't allow it).

            So they need public support for the market to move to a side street... and Ipswich Star courtesy of Archant Norwich have enabled this. Wasn't really a fair question and no other alternatives. People being used again. The market won't last long in Queen Street even though not far distance wise.

            I hope they look for somewhere more long term - not just for when they destroy the town centre square. It doesn't really matter if the vast majority of market trader customers follow them down the side of the town hall... if the borough is rubbing them up the wrong way, they are going to drop out before they have any experience of this.

            Considering the most successful location in modern times for the market has been the Corn Exchange... why not have a temporary indoor market?
             
          • martinc

            martincFounder Member

            Messages:
            882
            I wonder though by putting the market in Queens Street, with Giles Circus and the success of the saints it may drag the centre of town action south, leaving cornhill as a desolate wasteland with its broken water feature and graffiti covered monoliths
             
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            dan5

            dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

            Messages:
            2,126
            Martin, this is the intention. They want to pull people south to the waterfront... but a market on Cromwell Square will also encourage that but be a good location for it.

            I am still waiting for the Star Lane gyratory plans to be made public! Are they making a new town square down there?!

            I would argue that a market in Queen Street will stop people going to The Saints... who is going to walk down past the market? No one is going to divert around Princes Street or St Stephens Lane through to Turret Lane.

            All risky business especially when M&S announced it is looking to close some stores. Ipswich is safe for now and even Primark has a Colchester location now. They could leave any moment if things got really bad.

            It is not everyone's cup of tea, but this is why I am keen on SnOasis going ahead. Suffolk won't love Ipswich for their county town but we don't necessary need to persuade 360,000 people or so when this development can attract 600,000 people a year. If the transport links are spot on, you will notice a massive change in the town. Unfortunately with the axis switch we are already losing the co-op department store to a school and the QD unit up the far end of town won't be relevant.

            Ironically enough the mint quarter would have gone ahead had we got SnOasis. 600,000 is probably 8 times the footfall that the town currently receives.
             

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