Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C


Bury St Edmunds: Latest figures show town’s economy is booming

10:13 13 June 2014

Council leader John Griffiths and councillor Alaric Pugh in the town centre, in Bury St Edmunds.

Council leader John Griffiths and councillor Alaric Pugh in the town centre, in Bury St Edmunds.


The historic market town of Bury St Edmunds was last night hailed a “remarkable economic success story” as latest figures revealed that the centre is booming.

Footfall is up and the number of empty shops is down - bucking the national trend with many areas still struggling to emerge from the recession.

According to the statistics, released by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the number of vacant premises last July was 10.5% – outside the 5-10% deemed healthy by the Association of Town Centre Management. However that figure is now down to 6.5%, which is below the national rate of 10.6%.

Meanwhile, high street footfall has risen by 2.4%, while the UK average has fallen by 1.4%.

The number of people using the borough council’s car parks has also rocketed from about 1.7million five years ago to just under 2.1m in 2013/14.

John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “I too often read of doom and gloom – that our car parks are empty, our shops are closing, and our market traders are downbeat.

“The reality of course is the opposite. Bury is both a lovely historic town – with great people, facilities, attractions and businesses – and a remarkable economic success story.”

He said this was the result of long-term thinking and hard work by St Edmundsbury’s officers together with residents, businesses and partners, including Ourburystedmunds (the town’s business improvement district group), Bury in Bloom, the police and the town council.

Events like the Whitsun Fayre, organised by Ourburystedmunds, have boosted footfall and a new youth market, run by the borough council, has welcomed several new stalls as part of a food aisle.

There have been some recent shop closures, including Cafe Waffle in the Buttermarket, but also new additions to the high street, such as Côte Brasserie.

Mr Griffiths said: “There will always be casualties, and successes, on high streets, but here we have anticipated challenges like online retailing and recessions, and made sure that our town centre is a destination of choice, attracting more shoppers and visitors alike.”

Ourburystedmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said: “Bury is seen as a place to visit and retains its place as one of the top visitor destinations in East Anglia.”

Darren Old, chairman of the town’s branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation, said while the market had not yet returned to the turnover of 2007/08, but the optimism was there.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Motorists in Suffolk are being warned to watch out for traffic delays as three abnormal loads slowly make their way long the county’s roads over the next two weeks.

My husband baked a cake. I was warned this could happen, writes Lynne Mortimer.

Archant’s new Suffolk headquarters opened for business this morning at the junction of Princes Street and Portman Road in Ipswich.

An anonymous donor has handed £20,000 to a Suffolk charity helping disabled youngsters and families affected by cancer in what was labelled “an overwhelming act of kindness”.

A driver who may have seen missing airman Corrie McKeague has come forward to police.

An Ipswich man accused of raping a schoolgirl has been convicted by a jury.

Her Majesty The Queen is to officially open the new £15million National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in the Suffolk town of Newmarket, where many of her own horses are trained and stabled.

Education bosses in Suffolk have welcomed latest figures which mark the county’s highest school attendance record in the last decade.

Hopes of saving a supported housing scheme for vulnerable young people in Ipswich are still alive as bosses delay making a final decision on its future.

Sending a text while driving most likely caused the death of a Suffolk airman, who lost control of his car moments after using his phone, an inquest has heard.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24