Council planning for Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2016 and beyond
Thousands of visitors came to Bury St Edmunds and spent their cash in the tills of local businesses as the town celebrated another successful Christmas Fayre last weekend.
Now the fayre, which is provided by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and considered to be the biggest annual event to take place in the area, could be about to see its future guaranteed for the next three years.
Tuesday will see the council’s cabinet members consider a number of recommendations from a recent review of the Christmas Fayre by the its overview and scrutiny committee.
The recommendations include a council commitment to continue providing the fayre for the remainder of the current political administration. The council will also look at ways to measure the economic impact of the fayre to the local area.
Since the fayre began in 2004 it has grown to become a nationally recognised event attracting in the region of 120,000 visitors over the four days.
It is well-supported by local groups, including West Suffolk College and Community Action Suffolk who collectively provide around 50 unpaid volunteers at the event.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury, said: “The Christmas Fayre was set up to be both a family event for our local communities to enjoy, and as a visitor attraction that provides an economic boost to many of the various businesses in the area.
“The next three years will see us work with Ourburystedmunds, the Bury Tourism Group and local businesses to explore new ways of marketing the various town events including the fayre. This, we hope, will not only to encourage people to visit our fantastic town but to return throughout the year.
“Over its 12 years, so far, the fayre has not been a financial burden to the tax payer while it has brought in increased footfall and business to the area all year long. The council’s continuing commitment to manage the Christmas Fayre will ensure that the event has the support required to continue to bring strategic long term benefits to the local area.”
Cllr Robert Everitt, cabinet member for families and communities, said: “Once again this fantastic festive family event has brought together our local communities and given a boost to the trade of our local businesses as well.
“The fayre is named as one of the top 12 Christmas markets and we want to work together with local businesses and tourism partners to ensure our communities and the thousands of visitors continue to enjoy the fayre for many years to come.”
The Bury Christmas Fayre is listed in the top 12 of Christmas markets in terms of size and economic contribution according to National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).
It has also won awards having been named East of England Tourism Best Large Event and NABMA Best Speciality Market.