shopping street hit by closures

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A Bury St Edmunds pub closed this week, making it the fourth business in the last month to close its doors in one of the town’s oldest, most historic streets.

Joanna and Jay Wallace took over The St Edmunds Tavern, formerly The Rising Sun, in Risbygate Street, last year and were responsible for the pub’s recent refurbishment.

But this week they joined the ranks of Your Touch of Craft, Anglia Arms and Apocalypse Miniature War Gaming, which have all recently shut up shop.

Borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger, who runs the Body and Mind Studio opposite The St Edmund’s Tavern, said that on Monday a sign in the pub window read: ‘closed for maintenance, open again as usual tomorrow’.

But the doors did not open and remain closed.

As chairman of the Risbygate Street Traders’ Association, which was set up last November, Mr Hopfensperger said the loss of so many businesses was a ‘devastating blow for the street’.

He said: “The whole idea of setting up the traders’ association was to try to promote Risbygate Street and I think we’re doing a good job.

“To suddenly have, in the space of four weeks, four businesses shut down is devastating but we’re going to keep going.”

Greene King, which owns The St Edmunds Tavern, said the pub had closed temporarily and would reopen under new management.

Paul Devine, business development manager of Greene King pub partners, said: “We’re unable to comment on our individual licensee’s reasons for leaving, however we can confirm we are looking to recruit new permanent licensees who can build a quality cask ale and local food offer going forward. We hope to re-open the pub next week under temporary management.”

The traders’ asociation will meet next month to discuss the closures and what can be done to ensure the success of other businesses in the street.

“It takes each of us to make each other succeed and all of us to make all of us succeed,” said Mr Hopfensperger.