Bury St Edmunds: Town chosen as host for major town centre improvement conference

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A national charity dedicated to “putting the life back into the UK’s towns and cities” today announced Bury St Edmunds as the location for its flagship annual conference after the town beat impressive bids from other towns across the country desperate to host the event.

Towns Alive expects over 200 representatives of towns and cities from all over the UK to attend this year’s convention, from November 5-6. They will learn about initiatives Bury itself has implemented to benefit the town, as well as from other effective projects from across the county.

They will exchange ideas, discuss Government policy and learn from practical workshops covering how to improve their towns. St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Our Bury St Edmunds, Bury’s Business Improvement District (BID), will be working with the team from Towns Alive - which works with towns and cities across the UK - to plan the autumn event.

Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said: “I am absolutely delighted that AMT have chosen Bury St Edmunds to host their Towns Alive Conference this November.

“This will be a great opportunity for the town to display all that it has to offer to a Nationwide audience of ‘town centre’ experts. Hopefully we can provide examples of how we have made things work so positively in the town to assist the delegates.


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“Just as importantly though it’s a great opportunity for the key stakeholders in our town to listen to the ideas and initiatives that other towns are introducing and also to listen to discerning visitors who won’t have been to Bury before.

“The value of this ‘first impressions’ feedback cannot be under estimated and I am hoping it will lead to us making further improvements to our town during 2015 and beyond.” Speakers and workshop leaders, including representatives of successful town improvement schemes, policymakers and ministers, will share their advice, and tours of Bury will showcase some of its own best practice and innovative ideas which are helping the town to thrive. Chris Wade, chief executive of Towns Alive, said: “We are delighted that the national conference Towns Alive 2014 will be hosted by Bury St Edmunds.

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“We know from our work with Our Bury St Edmunds BID and other partners in the town that there is a great story to tell about how to maintain a vibrant and attractive town for local people and visitors to enjoy.

“There are some magnificent venues, like the Apex and Athenaeum, which are part of that story and make it a great town to host the conference in.” The winners of the 2014 Towns Alive National Awards – Britain’s top award for community projects in towns, villages and city neighbourhoods - will be announced alongside the conference. Alaric Pugh, portfolio holder for economic development and growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “This exciting announcement results from the Our Bury St Edmunds BID Team, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Sodexo working well together to attract high quality, high profile national organisations to Bury.

“This is an event many other towns wanted and we have come out on top. This is good for Bury!”

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