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Queen Street gates will be a tourist draw

Thursday, 29th April 2010.

The new gates being planned for Queen Street will be a unique draw to bring people to the town, council members have been told.

They will cost more than four times what was originally planned, but will be promoted as a national tourist attraction once they are in place.

The group formed to oversee provision of public art in Haverhill town centre, PATCH, had already decided 20,000 earmarked for art in Queen Street should be also dedicated purely to the gates, and added to an original estimate of 10,000.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's cabinet, meeting in Haverhill yesterday, was told the gates were now going to cost 42,000, but everyone involved was agreed it was such an exciting project it should be done properly.

Based on a lime leaf design developed with local schools, the gates have been fabricated and are now being worked on by students at Castle Manor and Samuel Ward schools.

Haverhill portfolio holder Cllr Anne Gower said everyone involved was very enthusiastic and keen to bring the project forward - traders, residents and students.

She praised the commitment of everyone, and in particular Neil Williams, head of art at Samuel Ward, who had been 'exemplary' in his work and ideas on the project.

"These gates will be completely unique to the town," she said, "and something which we can promote nationally. This sort of project has never been attempted before."

Cllr Karen Richardson, who chairs PATCH, said a lot of engineering work had been done to bring down the costs as low as possible, and officers had managed to purchase the stainless steel before it suffered a 13 per cent price increase.

Cllr Richardson said they would be low maintenance because they were being covered with a particular 'tea-stain' finish, needing no painting and easy to clean.

They would be lit from below with low-voltage, flexible LED lighting, a new technology, so each leaf would be a different colour.

The cabinet noted the financial position. The overall Queen Street enhancements have been delivered below budget, so the overspend on the gates can be accommodated within the overall project budget.

The gates themselves cost 37,000, and estimates of 4,000 for installation and 1,000 contingency have been added.

Haverhill Online News

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