Consultants have been appointed to help design a vision for the future of Bury St Edmunds town centre.
David Lock Associates and Peter Brett Associates will work on preparing an issues and options report outlining the challenges facing the town, now and in the future, and how these can be addressed.
This document will go out to public consultation in the spring before forming a detailed vision for the town centre. This masterplan will be open to consultation in the summer.
The urban design and town planning specialist companies have been appointed by Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Working Group which has representatives from a wide range of organisations and councils.
Simon Burton, director at Barker Storey Matthews and Suffolk’s Chamber of Commerce representative on the working group, said: “We know that we have a great and thriving town centre, although like anywhere it is not without its challenges to be addressed. The arc, a bold decision at the time it was made, has been a huge success, while the town’s heritage, events, restaurants and café culture and The Apex, all play a major part in attracting visitors and ensuring the vibrancy of the town centre.
“The specialists we have appointed have vast experience on achieveing successful town centre schemes elsewhere and we very much look forward to working with them.”
John Popham, for Bury Town Trust, and Richard Summers, for the Bury Society, said in a joint statement: “Bury St Edmunds town centre is a great success but we must not rest on our laurels. Shopping patterns are changing and new homes are being built to meet demand.
“We want the town centre to be conserved and enhanced to cater for local people and for visitors to support the local economy. We care about the past and present of Bury St Edmunds and we know that changes will be needed to meet the future.”
The working group includes representatives from Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, Bury Chamber of Commerce, Bury Market Liaison Group, the Bury Society, Bury Town Trust, Bury Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.