Bury St Edmunds: Budding business brains coming to Bury for TestTown initiative

Jon Vale 
West Suffolk reporter jon.vale@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
10:34 AM

Five bright new businesses are bringing their ideas to Bury St Edmunds this week as they battle it out for £10,000.

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The TestTown initiative will see young entrepreneurs trial their ideas in Bury’s booming town centre, with the winner advancing to compete against five other regional champions.

Vintage clothing, gourmet marshmallows and a baby boutique are among the products on offer when the businesses open on Friday, and Ourburystedmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said it was a good move for both parties.

“Although in Bury the number of vacant retail units is at its lowest level for over five years, we are very excited by this initiative as I feel the town would benefit with some younger business owners,” he said.

“The five contestants have got some brilliant ideas and I hope they find Bury St Edmunds a great place to get their enterprises off the ground.”

Ourburystedmunds and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have been instrumental in attracting the project, which is run by the Carnegie Uk Trust and will be based at vacant premises around the town.

Two women from Bury – Hollie Scott and Keri Bird – will be among the five launching their ideas on Friday.

Ms Scott’s Violet Lilly Vintage Clothing will run alongside three other businesses in the former Index premises in Unit 5, Cornhill Walk.

Birds Baby Boutique – run by 3D life-casting artist Ms Bird – will be based in Unit 19 at the Arc shopping centre.

Londoner Aine Dempsey’s Marsh a la Mode, which is selling luxury marshmallows, and Ellenesse Finesse – an art and jewellery business by Lianne Swaterbridge, from Somerset – will also be based in Cornhill Walk.

Smarti Pants Limited, a social enterprise teaching people with disabilities to produce craft items, run by Victoria Robertson from Mountsorrel in Leicestershire, will be based in Hatter Street.

The winner will be announced on Sunday.

They will pocket £500 and advance to the national final in Cambridge this autumn.

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