Bury St Edmunds: £30k to be invested to brighten up town centre

Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switched on.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switched on.

Nearly £30,000 will be invested into brightening up a west Suffolk town centre by businesses.

Bury St Edmunds’ town centre improvement group Bid4Bury has revealed it will spend £12,350 on flowers and a further £15,000 on festive lights to make sure shopping areas “look their best”.

The spend, follows a similar investment on lights last year, with businesses hoping to cement Bury’s reputation as a destination town.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bid4Bury, said: “One of our six stated priorities is improving the environment within the town centre and I see two ways of doing that is; in the summer, with floral displays; and in the winter in the run up to Christmas; with Christmas lights.”

He added: “It’s very difficult to tangibly say what difference it makes, but the best way to look at it is that the converse is true and that when you don’t have them, people make detrimental comments. A few years ago when there weren’t going to be any Christmas lights in Bury it raised quite a furore. I think also that it’s part of demonstrating the community spirit of the town.”

Mr Cordell said 130 hanging baskets had been paid for by Bid4Bury members after linking up with Bury In Bloom.

He added: “Bury has a tradition, 25 years I think, of being a floral town, entering and winning national and international competitions. I feel that during the summer to make the town centre as attractive as possible and somewhere that people want to be we ought to working Bury In Bloom to brighten the town centre.”

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The chief executive said it was hoped the flowers would last through to autumn.

He added that although Christmas lights were only for a six or seven week period, the festive period was extremely important for businesses.

Mr Cordell said: “For many of our businesses it can equate to up to a third of their total turnover. It’s essential to get the town looking nice.”

St Andrews Street South, previously described as the ‘ugliest street in Bury’, is this year due to be covered in Christmas lights.