Bury St Edmunds wins bid to host national conference to help ‘put the life back’ into other towns

Mark Cordell, chief executive of ourburystedmunds
Mark Cordell, chief executive of ourburystedmunds
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Town leaders will showcase what makes Bury St Edmunds thrive when it hosts a flagship conference - expected to attract more than 200 representatives from other UK towns.

Bury beat bids from other towns to host the prestigious ‘Towns Alive’ annual conference on November 5 and 6 with Government ministers and policymakers also due to attend.

Delegates will learn about initiatives Bury has implemented to benefit the town as well as from other UK projects.

They will exchange ideas, discuss Government policy and take part in practical workshops focusing on how to improve their towns.

Towns Alive is the operating name of Action for Market Towns - a national charity ‘dedicated to putting the life back into towns and cities’.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and town centre improvement organisation ourburystedmunds will work with the Towns Alive team to plan the event.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of ourburystedmunds, said: “This will be a great opportunity for the town to display all that it has to offer to a nationwide audience of town centre experts.

“Hopefully we can provide examples of how we have made things work so positively in the town to assist the delegates.

“It’s a great opportunity for the key stakeholders in our town to listen to the ideas and initiatives that other towns are introducing and also to listen to discerning visitors who won’t have been in Bury before.”

Cllr Alaric Pugh, portfolio holder for economic development and growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “This exciting announcement results from the Our Bury St Edmunds BID Team, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Sodexo working well together to attract high quality, high profile national organisations to Bury. This is an event many other towns wanted and we have come out on top. This is good for Bury.”

Chris Wade, chief executive of Towns Alive, added: “We know from our work with Our Bury St Edmunds BID and other partners in the town that there is a great story to tell about how to maintain a vibrant and attractive town for local people and visitors to enjoy.

“There are some magnificent venues like the Apex and Athenaeum which are part of that story and make it a great town to host the conference in.”

Alongside the convention, the winners of the 2014 Towns Alive National Awards - the country’s top accolade for community projects in towns, villages and city neighbourhoods - will be announced at the conference.