Bury St Edmunds: Traders affected by aftermath of Cupola House fire voice ideas for improving business

TRADERS who been affected by the aftermath of a major fire in Bury St Edmunds want more to be done to let the public know their businesses are open.

The devastating fire at Cupola House in the Traverse on June 16 has impacted on a number of businesses in the immediate vicinity, with some saying they have seen a drop in trade of up to 50%. Traders raised their concerns at a meeting on Thursday which was facilitated by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Roger Courtenay-Barrow, who owns Harriets cafe and was speaking on behalf of traders, said the scaffolding was the single biggest issue which was affecting businesses in the Traverse.

“It’s that what is killing the Traverse and I can categorically say it will kill the Traverse.”

He said there must be an engineering method or idea that would solve the problem. Chartered engineer David Clarke, of Richard Jackson Ltd, said he would work to understand his concerns and deal with things if he could.

Alison Plumridge, of Smiths Row art gallery, said what would help considerably was better signage on the covering to the scaffolding encouraging people to use that footpath, as well as decent signage for the businesses. Sandra Pell, corporate director for economy and environment at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the owner of the Grade I-Listed building – which is OMC Investments Ltd – was very keen to work with the traders. “The Traverse is still very much open for business and anything we can do to help that we must collectively aim to do that.”