‘Let’s get Bury St Edmunds on the map for being dog friendly’ - new business initiative

Left to right: Mike Kirkham, from Our Bury St Edmunds, Jon Kay, from Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche,

Left to right: Mike Kirkham, from Our Bury St Edmunds, Jon Kay, from Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche, and Clive Springett, town and borough councillor with their dogs Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD - Credit: Archant

A vision has been launched to make Bury St Edmunds the most dog-friendly place in the UK with a new scheme to give pooches a warm welcome in shops, cafes and restaurants.

To make it much clearer to dog owners which businesses are happy to receive their pets, an initiative is being launched that identifies and promotes dog-friendly businesses.

It is a collaboration between the Ourburystedmunds Business Improvement District (BID) group, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche and the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond tourism group.

Under this scheme, shops and eateries will be able to display a sticker in their window and put out a dog water bowl - both available through the town council - to show they are happy for people to bring in their pooches.

Jon Kay, managing director of Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche based at Moreton Hall, came up with the idea some time ago, adding his goal is to “make Bury known throughout the country as a dog-friendly place”.

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He added: “People don’t have to leave their dog at home. Bury is a lovely town to walk around, and from a business point of view there’s an opportunity.”

Mr Kay, who takes 150 to 200 dogs a week at his business, said customers regularly ask him where is dog friendly in Bury.

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It is thought maybe 40 to 50 businesses have already pledged their support, including Really Rather Good - a cafe on Angel Hill - and Oakes Barn pub in St Andrew’s Street South.

Mike Kirkham, from the BID, said: “Bury seems to be a very doggy town. I walk through the town and I see so many. There are already a number of businesses with dog bowls outside and we thought it would be really good and helpful to have a single scheme.

“I think what this scheme is doing is saying ‘yes, Bury is a dog-friendly town and these businesses are happy to welcome you’ and they are making it very public. I think before it might have been difficult to know whether they were dog friendly.”

Mr Kay said the scheme was aimed at “well-behaved dogs” and business owners would still have the power to ask them to leave if necessary.

It is launching on Monday, September 24 at Really Rather Good.

Anyone who wants to get involved should see here.

It has the hashtag #dogfriendlybse and will also be promoted on the BID’s free town maps and on its website.

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