Ipswich Festive Market

Discussion in 'Tourism' started by dan5, Jul 14, 2017.

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  1. dan5

    dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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    The "Ipswich Festive Market" last year was extremely disappointing - despite promising to be better than ever.

    Earlier this year, I wrote to David Ellesmere at Ipswich Borough Council to suggest he allowed a consortium of businesses and the community to organise a special event - something which Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central are incapable of doing. This has fell on deaf ears, with no further action taken.

    Maybe he took offence or didn't understand why an event for xmas would need to be planned before November. If he had agreed to this allowing independent traders to get on board, planning would have started around about now. It is a lot to organise.

    This is not something we aim to do this year - too much going on - but in 2018 we will most certainly consider it... even if the event needs to be held in direct competition with the event promoted by Ipswich Borough Council. This could be Trinity Park, held in a public park with IBC permission or a farmers field. Possibly even creating a Suffolk one outside Ipswich.

    The Tourism boost to the town - both in the festive period and throughout the year - with a successful festive market would be significant.
     
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  3. martinc

    martincMember

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    frankly though if I want to go to a Christmas Market I will jump on a plane and go to Germany or Belgium. Having been to Munich at Christmas on business a few years ago nothing else can compare to what they do, its amazing in its variety and size. Every square throughout the city had its own market, with its own character, and they all have that proper Christmas smell; cinnamon, woodsmoke, many cooking smells etc. Oh and snow on the ground helps as well... Why do we have to import these foreign traditions? Is a traditional British Christmas not enough. But then we seem to have an epidemic of bad imported traditions now don't we; trick or treat, black friday, cyber monday, and more....

    anyway Bury has the Suffolk Christmas Market thing sewn up surely. It has now become the victim of it's own success a bit, but unless Ipswich can get somewhere near that level of size then really it's never going to be anything other than a damp sqib.
     
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      dan5

      dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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      This! :unitedstates:

      Bury St Eds Fayre is beatable... (would be a major challenge!) but if we fell short, it wouldn't be an embarrassment. In Ipswich the xmas market is the normal market with some xmas music playing and some fairy lights... it has been worse some years than just the standard market!

      With the Cornhill Redevelopment it is probable we will lose the market in the central square. Queen Street, Princes Street ...and St Peters Street no doubt. I am not sure the current configuration around Giles Circus area is the best place... Christchurch Park front lawn with the mansion backdrop.

      My concern isn't about not being ambitious enough to rival Bury St Eds who have a very nice backdrop for it... but not being able to produce an festive fayre of any shape or description. There is a major potentially vacant island site at the waterfront... but goodness me, it will be cold that time of year! :D
       
    • martinc

      martincMember

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      but we do have the back drop, just think, from the waterfront, through Arras Square, Queens St, Princes Street, Giles Circus, Inside the Corn Exchange, Buttermarket, Cornhill, up perhaps Upper brook St and Museum St, and right up to Christchurch Mansion. It would be amazing. I woudl even allow some German beer tents to add to the evening entertainment as well. You know the big problem though don't you, traffic and parking would be a bloody disaster...
       
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        dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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        It would be great - it would save the town centre. When you are a town that isn't really known for anything in recent times, plenty of opportunities to create events that become well known across the country.

        I actually think it is part of a great event. The traffic needs to be a nightmare. As long as people enjoy the event they will consider the headache of getting home as testament to its success. If Crown Car Park was rebuilt to the large capacity and Park & Ride was fully utilised at the 3 sites etc. Ipswich would have the capacity to hold it. If you can take big football crowds (I know doesn't really happen much these days) and manage it, they could totally do something which brings in large crowds of people.

        Trains and coaches (yes, coaches... #1 NatX destination :D ) would help ferry people in and out. I would suggest something like a 5-day event which would spread the people out. It would take a few years to get anywhere near the size of that however.

        The damage is you are looking at a minimum of £500k outlay each year to realistically produce something credible. The amount of turnover and business created would be several times that. Ipswich Central receives £750k from business levy payers and does very little for the town... if they split it between Radio Link and Street rangers, and £500k for the festive season, it would be a winner. As it boosts footfall their shops would also see increased trade. But it is Ipswich... the only vision we have is building a bridge, like it is a new idea, and not one which previously fell out of favour as being impracticable!