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Which is the latest business to close in this historic market town?

PUBLISHED: 13:56 15 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 15 February 2020

Vanillia hair salon in Bury St Edmunds is now another empty unit Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

Vanillia hair salon in Bury St Edmunds is now another empty unit Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

MARIAM GHAEMI

An independent hairdressers is one of the latest businesses to close its doors for good in a picturesque market town.

Customers will no longer be able to get their hair cut at Vanilla in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, after a sign appeared on the door saying it had shut.

It read: "It is with deep regret Vanilla is no longer trading. We would like to say a huge thank you for your support and wish you all the best for the future."

READ MORE: Why I'm moving off the high street - business owner says she's 'going with the times'

Vanilla's closure follows others in the town, which is facing its lowest footfall and highest number of empty units.

Two independent shoe shops have recently shut, Nicola Sexton in Abbeygate Street and Chica shoes in Hatter Street, and Wolf in Sheep's Clothing in St John's Street is another loss this year.

BID chief executive Mark Cordell in Bury St Edmunds.  Picture: OUR BURY ST EDMUNDSBID chief executive Mark Cordell in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: OUR BURY ST EDMUNDS

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West Suffolk Council has announced it is holding a 'town centre summit' to try and find solutions to the struggling high street.

This was revealed at a meeting of the cabinet this week when it was decided to increase parking charges in the town.

READ MORE: Expect to pay more for parking in Bury St Edmunds - but it's still free from 3pm on Tuesdays

The council said it would bring together partners to look at how they can best work together to address the challenges facing our high streets.

Mark Cordell, who represents businesses in the town through the Business Improvement District (BID), said: "If this event is a genuine effort by West Suffolk Council to consider all of the issues affecting their town centres and to then take positive actions according to the outcomes then it is to be welcomed.

"Personally I have my doubts and am concerned that it's more a cosmetic exercise. As the recent issue with car parking demonstrates they tend to have already decided the outcome before considering the wide range of relevant issues and the implications upon others of their decisions and put their own interests before that of businesses and town centre users."

The council had described the rises as "modest" and said income from parking funded town centre services.

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