Bury St Edmunds: Tourism app designed to guide visitors around sights and shops

Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds town centre

Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds town centre

Businesses are working with tourism chiefs to develop an app to guide sightseers to attractions and shopping districts.

Mark Cordell Chief Executive Officer of Bid4Bury at the top of St. Johns Street in Bury St Edmunds

Mark Cordell Chief Executive Officer of Bid4Bury at the top of St. Johns Street in Bury St Edmunds

The move is part of a strategy to encourage tourists visiting Bury St Edmunds to spend more time and money in the town centre.

The initiative, which is being developed by Jabu Designs for town centre business improvement organisation Bid4Bury and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, should be ready for download by early autumn.

The app incorporates the same script as the town guides, who carry out daily tours in summer.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bid4Bury, who announced the scheme at Bid’s AGM on Wednesday night, said although it would not be possible to mention all 390 business members “each aspect of the app will be promoting businesses in the town, promoting different streets in the town.”

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He added: “There are guides that take you around and do the guided tour, but if they are not available you used to have a Walkman. But they never moved on to discs or MP3s.

“Jabu have got the tourism script and they’ll develop an app that plays it visually and audibly, so it’s good for the sight impaired and then at appropriate points, it will say things like ‘You are now approaching Abbeygate Street, which has got a wealth of independent businesses off to the left’. It’s not going to be ‘You are now passing McDonalds, here’s a message from our sponsors’.

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He added: “We get lots of people through tourism, but most of them stop only for a coffee, let’s see if we can engage them further.”

Sharon Fairweather, tourism officer at St Edmundsbury, said there had been a number of requests for an app and that it should be ready by September or October when guided tours come to an end.

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