Bury St Edmunds is proving to be the town centre businesses want to come to, with a shop vacancy rate half the national average.
The run up to Christmas has seen a host of new businesses move in, with The Traverse full for the first time since the Cupola House fire more than four years ago.
Ourburystedmunds chief executive Mark Cordell said: “Off the top of my head, we’ve had nearly 10 new businesses open in Bury in the past two months, which is a positive indicator.
“One can’t discount that the economy is better than it was, but there are many other towns locally and further off that are struggling to fill their centres. Our vacancy rate is six per cent when the national average is 12 per cent.
“The reason is because Bury is seen as a very vibrant town centre with good opportunities for new businesses.”
In recent weeks the new openings include two estate agents and the florists Flower Power in The Traverse. One estate agents is in the former Jessops shop which had been empty since the Cupola House fire,
The jewellers Artico have opened opposite Marks and Spencer in Buttermarket and Warhammer have moved into Risbygate Street. A bridal shop is opening in a former Chinese restaurant in Hatter Street.
Mr Cordell added: “Loungers is opening [Edmundo Lounge] in the old Officers’ Club, and that’s been empty for more than four years, so I see that as an achievement.
“Hughes electrical has just moved into the old Mothercare shop across the road there.
“There’s an empty unit in St John’s Street that has been revamped and is up for lease. The Early Learning Centre is closing but there’s a national ladies’ fashion shop going in there – I can’t say who because they haven’t signed the contracts yet.”