Town is one of country’s most robust

A view of St John's Street in Bury.

A view of St John's Street in Bury.

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BURY St Edmunds is among the 30 ‘most robust’ town centres in the UK, according to a top consultancy.

The Javelin Group, which advises 200 top retailers, looked at 600 town centres across the country and put Bury among the strongest, along with York, Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

Its chief executive Tony Stockil said being a strong venue would prove vital in coming years.

He said: “The watchword for many retailers will be ‘fewer but better stores’ better located, better ranged and supported by multi-channel capabilities.”

Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell put the town’s strength down to a good mix of retailers and to the groups working together to keep the town interesting and welcoming.

“I think Bid4Bury has done a lot to put Bury on the map,” he said. “The chamber of commerce, council, Bury in Bloom have all done things to make the town attractive.”

But he also felt Bury had ‘a great mix’ of shops, with strong independent retailers.

“They’re normally local people who have made a commitment to the town,” he added. “If a national brand is doing poorly across the country, the fact that its Bury store is doing well is neither here nor there.”

Ruth Brady, chief executive of Bury Chamber of Commerce praised the independents’ local loyalty. “Our independent offering is pretty much the same as it was 10 years ago,” she said. “We still need the high street names because without them we’d be a much smaller town.”

She too stressed the importance of groups working to keep the town attractive.