Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Latest figures show town’s economy is booming

10:13 13 June 2014

Council leader John Griffiths and councillor Alaric Pugh in the town centre, in Bury St Edmunds.

Council leader John Griffiths and councillor Alaric Pugh in the town centre, in Bury St Edmunds.


The historic market town of Bury St Edmunds was last night hailed a “remarkable economic success story” as latest figures revealed that the centre is booming.


Footfall is up and the number of empty shops is down - bucking the national trend with many areas still struggling to emerge from the recession.

According to the statistics, released by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the number of vacant premises last July was 10.5% – outside the 5-10% deemed healthy by the Association of Town Centre Management. However that figure is now down to 6.5%, which is below the national rate of 10.6%.

Meanwhile, high street footfall has risen by 2.4%, while the UK average has fallen by 1.4%.

The number of people using the borough council’s car parks has also rocketed from about 1.7million five years ago to just under 2.1m in 2013/14.

John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “I too often read of doom and gloom – that our car parks are empty, our shops are closing, and our market traders are downbeat.

“The reality of course is the opposite. Bury is both a lovely historic town – with great people, facilities, attractions and businesses – and a remarkable economic success story.”

He said this was the result of long-term thinking and hard work by St Edmundsbury’s officers together with residents, businesses and partners, including Ourburystedmunds (the town’s business improvement district group), Bury in Bloom, the police and the town council.

Events like the Whitsun Fayre, organised by Ourburystedmunds, have boosted footfall and a new youth market, run by the borough council, has welcomed several new stalls as part of a food aisle.

There have been some recent shop closures, including Cafe Waffle in the Buttermarket, but also new additions to the high street, such as Côte Brasserie.

Mr Griffiths said: “There will always be casualties, and successes, on high streets, but here we have anticipated challenges like online retailing and recessions, and made sure that our town centre is a destination of choice, attracting more shoppers and visitors alike.”

Ourburystedmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said: “Bury is seen as a place to visit and retains its place as one of the top visitor destinations in East Anglia.”

Darren Old, chairman of the town’s branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation, said while the market had not yet returned to the turnover of 2007/08, but the optimism was there.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Company director spared jail

A Suffolk company director who crushed a worker to death was spared jail by a judge at Norwich Crown Court today.

Colchester Magistrates' Court

A “stellar” village GP who crashed into a zebra crossing while under the influence of alcohol has been banned from the road.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, is proposing a £5 rise in council tax.

Residents in Essex face a £5 rise in their council tax in a bid to raise an extra £1.2million for community policing in the county.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m pleasure palace

Excitement is building as Ipswich prepares to welcome a string of big-name restaurants as part of the Buttermarket makeover.

There has been a crash on the A12 near Witham

Three vehicles are reported to have crashed on the A12 this evening.

How well do you know your cars?

Test your knowledge in our car photo quiz and see if you can identify which car is which from just one small feature.

Colchester railway station

Two trains serving Colchester Town have been cancelled because of a security issue in London.

Team members from Colchester care home provider Care UK will be swapping their office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia's Children's Hospices Colchester Santa Run.

At least a dozen team members from Care UK in Colchester will be swapping office wear for Santa suits as they enter teams for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Colchester Santa Run.

Stores in Ipswich ready for Black Friday.

Black Friday is nearly upon us and it is set to kick off the busiest Christmas online shopping periods.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24