Of the many business openings, closures and moves over in Bury St Edmunds over the past decade, few have delighted me more than the transformation of the former Officer’s Club site.
Regular readers might remember I’ve moaned about this ‘tatty corner’ on more than one occasion – for the first time in March 2013 - but I am happy to say it is shabby no more.
Edmundos café, bar and restaurant opened in December, and what a welcome addition to the street scene it is. Externally it looks smart and swish, while inside period features have been sympathetically exposed. Its menu of food and drink from 9am certainly seems to be appealing as it is buzzing whenever I go there or walk past.
Other recent changes to the Cornhill include the opening of iCandy in the premises formerly occupied by Next, while Hughes has relocated from the Buttermarket into the old Mothercare unit at the top of St John’s Street.
It was an area that suffered a downturn after the demise of Woolworths and the relocation of some retailers when the arc shopping centre opened, so it is now a much more enticing gateway to St John’s Street and its independent shops.
Now, there is only one fly in the ointment in the regeneration of the Cornhill, but it’s one that should be fairly easy to rectify.
The last time I raised the issue of this ‘tatty corner’ it was not just the dilapidated of the Officer’s Club site I was concerned about. Then, I also mentioned the shabby and dirty forecourt of Poundland and the fact it needed a good clean.
On Sunday I decided to see if anything had changed or improved. Well, yes, it has changed, but I believe for the worse. Unfortunately the shop’s frontage is still filthy, while the partition between Poundland’s forecourt and the Three shop still has black stains sprayed up the doorway. If you were to take two steps to the left – to the Three and Barclays shopfronts – it is an entirely different picture, with both premises looking clean and smart externally.
So come on Poundland, show some pride! A good clean and scrub and maybe a coat of paint would not only transform your shopfront but contribute to the newly revitalised Cornhill.