Bury St Edmunds abbey work will ‘help protect the area for future generations’

Members of the Abbey Heritage Partnership. Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL

Members of the Abbey Heritage Partnership. Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A new project to preserve the history of Saint Edmund and Bury’s medieval abbey is soon to be launched in the town.

All of the historical and archaeological information about the Abbey of St Edmund is to be gathered together to aid its conservation and explain its significance to visitors and the community.

The Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership has launched two consultancy studies for the abbey. They are being led by St Edmundsbury Cathedral along with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and 10 other public, private and voluntary organisations.

The studies are being funded by a Heritage at Risk Grant of £40,000 from Historic England and £10,000 from the borough council.

The Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon, chairman of the partnership, said: “The Heritage Partnership aims to deepen public understanding of the life and times of St Edmund and the Medieval Abbey and to encourage people to experience the spiritual, historical and archaeological significance of the Abbey of St Edmund in the modern world.

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“I am delighted to announce that we have just appointed Richard Hoggett Heritage to undertake the Heritage Assessment and Purcell (Norwich) to prepare the conservation plan for the project area and its various subareas.

“The first study is starting soon and the second study will be completed by autumn 2018.”

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The heritage assessment will bring together all the information about the Abbey of St Edmund, and the Conservation Plan will then draw up a series of policies for heritage conservation and interpretation. It will also identify potential improvement projects that will provide a basis for future applications to funders.

The borough council says it has undertaken a competitive tendering process and will act as formal contract manager and budget holder for the studies on behalf of the Heritage Partnership.

Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The Abbey Gardens are very popular with over a million local residents and tourists visiting them each year.

“This work will help protect the whole Abbey of St Edmund area for future generations and explain its significance to local people and our many visitors to the town.”

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