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Work set to begin on £8.4m Bury St Edmunds post office redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 17 September 2020

An impression of Market Thoroughfare in Bury St Edmunds as it will look once works are complete  Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

An impression of Market Thoroughfare in Bury St Edmunds as it will look once works are complete Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

West Suffolk Council

A multi-million pound redevelopment of the Victorian post office in Bury St Edmunds Town centre is set to start.

The historic Cornhill post office in Bury St Edmunds town centre dates back to 1896. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDThe historic Cornhill post office in Bury St Edmunds town centre dates back to 1896. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

The building, in the Cornhill and which dates from 1896, is to be turned into 12 flats and two business units in an £8.4 million transformation.

The historic frontage will be maintained, while later additions to the structure will be demolished and replaced.

The changes to the building will also see the pedestrian walkway at Market Thoroughfare widened, as well as creating a new front onto St Andrews Street South.

As a result of the work starting, Market Thoroughfare will shut from Monday September 21 to ensure pedestrian safety during the works.

How the former post office building in Bury St Edmunds town centre could look Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILHow the former post office building in Bury St Edmunds town centre could look Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

People can access the arc shopping complex and Bury town centre via Brentgovel Street, Central Walk and Woolhall Street.

Central Walk will become two way once more. Social distancing will see people encouraged to stay to their left-hand side as they travel between the arc and the historic town centre.

Hoardings will be put up at Cornhill and St Andrews St South to help direct people around the town centre and will also include design images showing the final development.

Suffolk company Barnes Construction, has been appointed to carry out the work at the building while Concertus Design and Property Consultants is the contractor appointed architect and Superstructures, the structural engineer for the scheme.

A view from the Arc shopping centre of how the redevelopment could look with shops, flats and a wider link Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCILA view from the Arc shopping centre of how the redevelopment could look with shops, flats and a wider link Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “It is a challenging time for many of our residents, businesses and the Council, but we are investing in the long term future of the Bury St Edmunds town centre as a place of continuing economic, social and cultural activity.

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“Furthermore, we are delivering on what people asked for when they helped shape the vision for the town centre in the masterplan in 2017.

“Once completed this will deliver a much better and wider walkway between the arc and the historic town centre, as well as a new commercial frontage onto St Andrews St South and improved access to the historic Cornhill front.

“The new homes and commercial units, will hopefully also be creating a small level of income which will help toward the day to day services we provide.”

The work is being carried out by Barnes Construction of Suffolk and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Mark Bailey, director for Barnes Construction, said. “We are pleased to have been entrusted to redevelop this important site on Cornhill to become a long-term asset for the town.

“We are also looking forward to joining with the local business community to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and the project goes as smoothly as possible.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, said: “The widening of the walkway and improving the link between the original town centre and the arc has been a priority for our members and the public alike throughout the ten years of the arc, and it will be good to see this achieved as well as retaining the wonderful façade of the Post Office.

“It is good to see that the council is investing in the future of the town centre and we look forward to its completion.”

Steve Bunce, manager of the arc, said: “We fully support West Suffolk Council’s redevelopment of the site which, once finished, will benefit the town centre businesses and we look forward to its completion.”

Construction at the site is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

MORE: Work on former post office redevelopment could start next month after funding boost


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