Stowmarket looks for something unique

SOMETHING "a bit unique" is required to boost the prosperity of the centre of a Suffolk market town – and gain shoppers' attention from two neighbouring consumer hotspots.

SOMETHING "a bit unique" is required to boost the prosperity of the centre of a Suffolk market town – and gain shoppers' attention from two neighbouring consumer hotspots.

That is the verdict of local councillors, who will discuss ways of rejuvenating Stowmarket town centre and providing "that something special" which marks it out from Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds.

Innovations such as expanding the size of the town's marketplace and pedestrianised sections are set to be the subject of debate when Mid Suffolk District Council's executive committee meet on April 29.

These issues will form a report included in a review of the area's Local Plan – which the public will be asked for their opinions on. Last year's report of the Civic Trust forms the basis for discussion on the future of Stowmarket after it suggested a number of options to boost the town's trade and tourism.


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Top of the agenda appears to be increasing the variety of stores, following public criticism of the range of goods on offer in Stowmarket, and encouraging residents to "stay local – spend local".

Gordon Paton, a town and district councillor, agreed there needs to be more incentive for shoppers to ignore the attractions of the two major towns on opposing sides of the A14.

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Other points of discussion include increasing the visibility of the Museum of East Anglian Life and the contention whether an out-of-town retail part would further the decline of the town centre.

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