Bury St Edmunds’ business improvement district is turning its attention on Cambridge, councillors have been told.
OurBuryStEdmunds’ chief executive Mark Cordell told St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Bury Area Working party last night that for this financial year the BID will be focussing ‘a lot of activity’ to the west of the town.
“We have concentrated on the whole in and around the town but now we want to move down the A14 towards Cambridge to draw people in,” he said.
Mr Cordell said the catchment area around Bury was not big enough on its own to support it so the town needs to pull visitors in from further afield.
He added: “We want to raise the profile of the town so that when we go on holiday and say where we’re from we want people to say not ‘where’s that?’ but ‘that’s that lovely town in Suffolk’.”
He said OurBuryStEdmunds was ‘looking actively’ at a loyalty card for Bury and were in discussions for ‘an exciting digital opportunity for the town’.
He said: “Our aim is to get to the stage where during spring and summer there is always something going on in Bury.”
As well as existing events such as the Food Festival and Whitsun Fayre, the BID was in discussion with other organisations for events including a sports festival.
Mr Cordell also urged the council to get involved with OurBuryStEdmunds helping young people get into business.
“What we still don’t have in town is many young people running businesses,” he said. “Ben’s rRestaurant, which is very good, is run by a couple in their 20s and they’re an exception.”
He asked the council to give the BID 99 Risbygate Street, a unit that belongs to the borough and has been empty for years, so that it could become a location for pop-up shops.
“After the election, assign it to the BID to open it up to young people,” he urged.
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger, who has a business in Risbygate Street, said: “A pop-up shop there would be logical to give people a start in business – it’s been empty for years.”