Traders up beat in market town

A THRIVING town looks set to become an East Anglian shopping Mecca as retailers desperate to set up shop snap up prime sites before even the first brick of a prestigious new development is laid.

A THRIVING town looks set to become an East Anglian shopping Mecca as retailers desperate to set up shop snap up prime sites before even the first brick of a prestigious new development is laid.

Up market fashion shop Jaeger and high quality East Anglian gift chain Quest are the latest to open branches in Bury St Edmunds and bosses are confident they are set to prosper.

Leaders of the town's commerce groups last night welcomed the news of the latest arrivals to Bury's high street and said the new stores added important extra breadth to what the town can offer shoppers of all kinds.

It comes as new venues The Grid - a recently opened restaurant in Abbeygate Street - and the restored Cupola House bar and restaurant in the Traverse are thriving.


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Other new stores include two boutiques selling bridal gowns and a chocolate shop, Les Chocolats Belges in St John's Street.

The business boom comes only days before St Edmundsbury Borough Council expects to receive applications giving details of the plans for the town's vast Cattle Market site.

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The multi-million pound development will see a new Debenhams department store brought to Bury, and a venue for public entertainment.

Frank Warby, borough councillor and local businessman, said: "I think all these shops coming to Bury is wonderful news and it's great Jaeger has come to St John's Street - it's one of the main individual streets in the town.

"I think shops are choosing St John's Street because it has unique shops and people can just wander down at leisure and enjoy them. The new shops show people have confidence in the town and this will continue when the Cattle Market development goes forward."

Jim Brady, chairman of Bury's Town Centre Management Group and former chairman of the town's chamber of commerce, was also pleased with the latest developments.

He said: "It widens the selection customers in the town have, which is very important. It also shows a company like Jaeger has confidence in the long-term economic strength of the town."

Alison East, manager of the new Jaeger store, said the top-quality shops were always strategically placed and had received a "tremendous" welcome from shoppers.

Tracey Russell, who with her partner Debbie Willottopened the Quest store in Abbeygate Street on Saturday, was confident the shop - which boasts "gifts of inspiration" would do well.

She said Quest, which has branches in Norwich and Holt, had earmarked Bury as an ideal location for expansion 18 months ago: "Since then we have been trying to find a suitable location in Bury.

"Although it's a market town it's absolutely thriving - it pulls in so many different people, tourists and people from all over the area.

She added: "Bury is definitely a place a lot of people are trying to get into. It also has a thriving restaurant and pub scene and we're hoping people will see us at night and then remember when they come back in the day."

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