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Will Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre continue beyond 2018?

PUBLISHED: 15:05 01 November 2018

West Suffolk councils are set to support the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre for another three years Picture: GREGG BROWN

West Suffolk councils are set to support the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre for another three years Picture: GREGG BROWN

Councils in west Suffolk are set to commit to running the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre for another three years.

Thousands flock to Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre each year - and is among the biggest in the country Picture: GREGG BROWNThousands flock to Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre each year - and is among the biggest in the country Picture: GREGG BROWN

The annual event runs over four days at the end of November, and regularly attracts more than 130,000 people.

A task group was formed over the summer to review the fayre’s future, with recommendations being presented to next week’s St Edmundsbury Borough Council scrutiny committee.

The report said the council should commit to the fayre for the next three years, although alternative options for delivering events can still be assessed during that time.

The task group said it should remain a four day festival so as not to clash with other events, and stall locations could be rotated to keep it fresh each year.

One of the recommendations for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is to rotate stalls each year Picture: GREGG BROWNOne of the recommendations for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is to rotate stalls each year Picture: GREGG BROWN

A dedicated food, drink and entertainment space may also be created.

Elsewhere, a ‘premier parking’ opportunity may be established, which will allow punters to pre-book spaces, while work is underway to assess further sponsorship opportunities to ensure the event breaks even.

Last year’s event made a loss of £7,388, according to the council’s data.

Sue Warren, brand and marketing manager with tourism group Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “We are delighted that Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre will continue.

John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader, said the event was vital for the area Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILSJohn Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader, said the event was vital for the area Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

“The fayre is a fantastic event which attracts over 100,000 people to Bury St Edmunds every year and is a great way to promote the town and area to visitors.

“We are particularly pleased by the report findings that show that the council and local community recognise that this event, which is now nationally known, is a great way to promote the town and encourage visitors to come back at another time for a break in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond. Our latest winter breaks marketing campaign aims to do just that.

“We are also very pleased to see a number of enhancements for visitors are being looked at including using guides and volunteers to improve the visitor welcome and the option of paying for parking by card.”

The recommendations are due to be discussed at scrutiny committee next week, after which they will go before the shadow executive of both St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils for a final decision.

Sponsorship opportunities are being assessed for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in the future Picture: GREGG BROWNSponsorship opportunities are being assessed for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in the future Picture: GREGG BROWN

John Griffiths, borough council leader, said: “The fayre offers a chance to bring our communities together while it also benefits our local economy not just over the four days, but through attracting visitors who return to spend their time and money in many of our wonderful town centre shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.”

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