Bury St Edmunds: New Thursday night at Christmas fair brought an extra 8,562 people to the town

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Saturday, January 11, 2014
12:00 PM

An extra 8,500 people were in Bury St Edmunds on the first day of the extended Christmas fair, boosting the argument it should be kept as a four-day event, a business leader has said.

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To mark the 10th year of the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, the popular event started a day early last year, on Thursday, November 28, with an evening of entertainment for the community.

Ourburystedmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said a footfall tracker in Abbeygate Street recorded 12,272 people on November 28 compared to 3,710 on the equivalent Thursday the previous year – November 29, 2012. Both of these evenings had late-night shopping events.

Ahead of a Christmas fair ‘debriefing’ meeting later this month, Mr Cordell said: “I will be attending the meeting to listen to the views of others and to put forward the thoughts of traders. Those who have contacted me have said how successful for them the opening of the fair on the Thursday night was and what a wonderful atmosphere it provided in the town.

“I know the reason for doing this was to enable more local people to visit the fair, and visitor numbers appear to indicate this was a success, and I’m hoping that the opening of the fair on the Thursday night will be repeated this year.”

While the Christmas fair website advertises this year’s event as being three days, starting on November 28, a borough council spokeswoman said a Thursday night could be added.

Councillor Robert Everitt, cabinet member for the town at the borough council, said they were looking forward to discussing with all partners what worked and what could be improved.

He said at the 2013 fair the new park and ride site operated very well, traffic flow in town was much improved and there had been some very positive feedback about the community evening.

Cllr Everitt said: “But we need to understand the whole picture and make sure all our partners are supportive of any new ideas before agreeing next year’s event.”

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