Late night shopping begins in Bury St Edmunds next Thursday and to support local businesses the borough councils is making parking on these evenings free from 4pm.
The Christmas lights switch on November 16, arranged by OurBuryStEdmunds Business Improvement District, signals the six week countdown to Christmas and with it one of the busiest trading periods for many of our town centre businesses.
The following Thursday – November 23 – sees the start of the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, organised by St Edmundsbury Borough Council. Then, each of the four following Thursdays in the run up to Christmas will be late night shopping nights.
John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Late night shopping nights offer our residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy everything Bury has to offer while supporting our local retailers by visiting the shops after work or after picking up the children from school. It is a wonderful time for families to soak up the friendly festive atmosphere, to enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights, to buy gifts and to then perhaps enjoy a meal in one of our brilliant town centre restaurants.”
Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth, added: “This is one of the busiest trading periods for many of our town centre businesses here in Bury St Edmunds and our free parking offer demonstrates St Edmundsbury’s commitment not only to their success, but also to the many residents, visitors and families who we know will want to come and enjoy a night out in our outstanding town.”
Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet Member for Operations, said: “The free from 4pm offer runs every Thursday from November 16 through to December 21. The council also runs free from 3pm parking on Tuesdays throughout the year in all of its short stay car parks in the town.
“The Tuesday initiative was introduced to encourage more people to visit the town centre during a period of the week that had traditionally been quieter for town traders. So why not take advantage of free from 3 Tuesdays and free from 4 Thursdays and have a great time in Bury St Edmunds.”
The free from 4pm Thursdays includes the car parks on Angel Hill and Cornhill which St Edmundsbury manages on behalf of Suffolk County Council – although Angel Hill will not be available during the opening day of the Christmas Fayre on November 23.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of OurBuryStEdmunds which represents town centre businesses, said: “I am delighted that St Edmundsbury will continue its support for local business on late night shopping nights in the run up to Christmas by providing free car parking across the town. It provides a great opportunity for people, particularly those that work during the day, to pop into town to get some Christmas gifts or even to grab a bite to eat at one of our fabulous restaurants.”