New manager for arc centre

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TAKING over as arc centre manager may seem a daunting prospect to some, but for Colin Roberts it is a dream come true.

Having lived in Bury St Edmunds since 1988, he has enjoyed watching it transform and has had his eye on the centre manager position since the arc was developed in 2009.

The 57-year-old said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I’ve been manager of the Buttermarket in Ipswich for 14 years and the arc’s the only other job I’d ever be interested in – I couldn’t be happier, it’s my dream job.”

Although former arc manager Paul Haynes stepped down on Friday, Mr Roberts will not take over the role until March 26 because of contractual obligations at his current position, leaving Dennis Smith as interim manager until then.

“I’m thrilled to be given the chance to carry on Paul’s work, he’s done a great job with integrating the arc with the town,” said Mr Roberts.

“I think it’s added an extra dimension that was very much needed in terms of multiple brands that the arc provides – Bury’s got a strong independent retail network, what was missing was the multiple brand names and the arc’s really added that.”

Having held previous positions at Fosters Menswear, formerly in St John’s Street, Bury, and Palmers department store, in Newmarket, it is his latest role that Mr Roberts is most keen to build on.

“Given the opportunity I’d want to play a big part in Bid4Bury,” he said.

“In Ipswich the Business Improvement District has been running for six years and has gone from strength to strength – it really can play a valuable part in promoting the town.”

Similar to his work with the arc, Mr Haynes’ new role as manager of Northampton’s Grosvenor shopping centre will involve regenerating the town centre with new shops.

Family illness prompted a decision to move closer to his family home, within eight miles of the centre, but Mr Haynes is excited to work on the new development project, which could involve funds of up to £300 million.

“I’m really sad to leave though, the team we’ve got at the arc were fantastic to work with,” he said.