Ice-rink could be coming to Bury St Edmunds
An ice-rink could be installed in the centre of Bury St Edmunds next year as business leaders look to build on the town’s reputation as a tourism and shopping destination.
The plans, which are in their early stages, would see skating take place in either The Traverse or Charter Square in November.
It’s hoped the rink, which could be in place for the switching on of the Christmas lights, would help bring in even more people to the centre of Bury St Edmunds and boost trade around the hopefully reopen Cupola House.
The rink is being masterminded by the town’s business improvement district, Ourburystedmunds, who were recently given an overwhelming vote of confidence in a renewal ballot.
The group are also planning with various town partners to create a Wolf Trail, consisting of about 20 life-sized wolf sculptures – designed by local artists – as another way of promoting Bury.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Ourburystedmunds said: “Following the resounding vote of confidence from our businesses in our recent renewal ballot we’re determined to maintain the momentum that has led to the town being identified as the second best retail centre in East Anglia. But also we have got exciting plans for the future working with other partner organisations.”
Mr Cordell said the ice-rink was an Ourburystedmunds initiative. He added: “We have thought about it before, but we don’t want to do anything cheap and cheerful we want to do this properly. We have a couple of locations and a couple of providers to meet. It’s likely it will be in place for November, but we are hoping to do it around the Christmas lights switch on event.
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“We’ve got in mind The Traverse and Charter Square, but we are at a very early stage. The attraction of The Traverse is that hopefully Cupola house will have been sorted and it will be a way of attracting people there.”
Mr Cordell said he will also be meeting with representatives from St Edmundsury Borough Council and the arc on Tuesday to discuss the creation of the Wolf Trail around the town, with the town council have already committed to the project.
He added: “Other towns, like Norwich, have done gorillas and are doing dragons this year. They get an outside agency in to build a load of plaster of Paris-types cartoon animals. What we’re doing is using the wolf, because of the link with St Edmunds, but we are going to local artists and asking them to create life-sized models of wolves from a variety of materials, whether it is wood, metal, fabrics, topiary and willow. It’s about the local aspect, sustainability, and individuality.”
Mr Cordell, who said he is looking for sponsorship from businesses, hopes the Wolf Trail will be in place by summer outside public and iconic buildings in the town. He added: “It will be another way of promoting and raising the profile of Bury.”
Melanie Lesser, chair of Bury St Edmunds Tourism Group, who is also involved with the Wolf Trail, said it was vital that both projects would bring something new to the town.
She added: “I think more and more people are looking for something different to do, but they don’t want to travel too far. So if there are things locally they will look at their town in a new way and when they have visitors they will bring them to the town rather than bringing them to Norwich or wherever.”