Bury's new centre takes shape

A £100million retail and leisure development in the heart of a Bury St Edmunds is gradually starting to take shape.The arc development, on the old Cattle Market site, now has clearly defined building areas, walkways, an underground car park and department store.

A £100million retail and leisure development in the heart of a Bury St Edmunds is gradually starting to take shape.

The arc development, on the old Cattle Market site, now has clearly defined building areas, walkways, an underground car park and department store.

Chris Staples, developer Taylor Woodrow's site liaison manager, said his firm had worked on major retail projects before but no two were ever the same.

“They are each one offs and we will never work on something quite like this again,” said Mr Staples.

Although the plot remains a 200m by 200m building site strewn with heavy equipment, materials and mud, visitors can now get a flavour of how the end product will look.

Already visible is the new Debenhams department store with its Wembley-like arch over the entrance. The framework for the external cladding is now up on the building, informally known as “the clamshell”, and the department store will soon be ready to be fitted out.

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Across the main square from the Debenhams building is the public venue where bricklayers are busy laying special acoustic bricks to the inside of what will become an auditorium. One block down from the venue are the distinctive wooden-clad gables of the apartments planned for the arc development

“This is the view you see in the artist's impressions of the development. You've got the traditional and the very new,” said Mr Staples.

“This for me is what construction is all about and it is what I've spent my life doing. It is starting to look really good. It is really quite exciting seeing it all come together like this.”

The entire site is expected to be completed early next year.