Parking deal to tempt back shoppers

A NEW parking deal has been launched to entice back shoppers who have not returned to Bury St Edmunds since fire gutted Cupola House.

Some traders in the town centre have reported an 80% decline in business since the blaze at the historic building and home of Strada restaurant, last month.

Bosses from Suffolk County Council said they are hoping that a new deal in the Cornhill and Buttermarket parking areas would act as an incentive to those shoppers who have stayed away.

From today until Sunday September 2, there will be essentially a buy-one-get-one-free tariff in operation, with shoppers getting a free 30 minutes for every 30 minutes paid for.

Councillor Guy McGregor, county council’s cabinet member for roads, planning and transport, said it was especially important that the town capitalised on tourists visiting the area.

He added: “The county council is acutely aware of the impact the Cupola House fire could have on local trade and the businesses in the heart of the Cornhill and Buttermarket areas.

“It’s important that we do everything we can to encourage shoppers to keep using this part of Bury St Edmunds, especially during the tourist season.

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“The town centre is very much open for business and we’re happy to give it an added boost.”

Councillor Robert Everitt, Chair of the Bury St Edmunds Area Working Party, said: “I am delighted that this generous gesture by Suffolk County Council will allow town centre visitors some extra time to discover more of what Bury St Edmunds has to offer. Those who perhaps haven’t been in since the Cupola House fire will be happy to see that the Traverse has re-opened and the town centre is bustling with interest.”

This week contractors at Cupola House have been working to reduce scaffolding in front of Jessops’ window to allow public access to their shop frontage.

Engineers have also said they plan to begin scaffolding in Skinner Street on August 6, subject to obtaining the necessary licences.

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokeswoman added: “The scaffolding will extend out into Skinner Street in a similar profile to the scaffolding against the fa�ade in the Traverse. Once it starts going up, there will be no vehicular access past it. Pedestrian access will be possible, including access to the fire escapes from the properties fronting onto the Buttermarket.”

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