Cathedral boosts business in town

RECORD visitor levels to the county's cathedral are helping to boost trade in a west Suffolk town, it has emerged. Last year 70,000 people walked through the doors of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds, with staff taking a further 82 bookings for group tours.

RECORD visitor levels to the county's cathedral are helping to boost trade in a west Suffolk town, it has emerged.

Last year 70,000 people walked through the doors of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds, with staff taking a further 82 bookings for group tours.

And the rise in visitor numbers is having a knock-on effect on the town and its business community, which is benefiting from the boost to tourism.

The cathedral's visitor co-ordinator Sarah Friswell said she was thrilled with the response from the public, following the unveiling of the Millennium Tower, which finally crowned the magnificent building in 2005.

“We saw a massive increase of around 20,000 people visiting the cathedral last year, and I feared numbers might start to decline once the novelty of the tower wore off. But we have managed to maintain those figures which we are very pleased about,” she said.

Mrs Friswell said group bookings - which has become a priority for the cathedral in recent months - were up by around 15 per cent on 2005.

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