Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

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.

Archant

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.

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Beautiful May morning on the seafront at Felixstowe. 
Galley 
Weather

Parts of Suffolk are expected to be hotter than the Spanish island of Ibiza this weekend, with temperatures set to rise to 22 degrees Celsius.

Ipswich Town Hall.

District councils in Suffolk and north Essex spent more than £20million on redundancy packages over a five-year period, with some departing staff receiving six-figure payouts, an investigation has found.

Mulberry Tree owner Des Scicluna who has been having problems with N Power for the last four years.

A frustrated pub landlord has taken action after an energy supplier pursued him for unpaid bills for more than four years – despite the firm never having supplied gas or electricity to the establishment.

Return of a duck family to Holbrook Academy. Students are excited to see them develop. Teacher Frank Anstee-Parry introducing some students to the chicks.

A Suffolk school has welcomed the return of one of its most popular guests – a doting duck and its adorable ducklings.

Alice Grange Care Home in Kesgrave.

A Kesgrave care home is still performing below standards expected by the health watchdog a year after concerns were first raised.

Network Rail engineers working at Harold Wood.

More than half a mile of track was replaced by Network Rail engineers on the main line to London over the bank holiday.

Drug-drivers banned

Three drug-drivers have lost their licences after appearing before Ipswich magistrates.

Aerial photo of Felixstowe including Orwell Road
.

A Felixstowe woman in her 80s was the victim of a distraction burglary over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Pupils and students, outside Bealings Primary School, whowere due to strike today.

Schoolchildren across Suffolk are “on strike” in protest at controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

Ellie Dunn and Jen Leonard

Easton and Otley College is backing the largest public art event coming to Ipswich this summer.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24