Exhibition of designs for former town centre Post Office to go on show

Vox pop at Bury St Edmunds Post Office. To go with story about excessive queuing.

A public exhibition of designs for the former Post Office site in Bury St Edmunds is to take place later this month.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council moved swiftly to secure first refusal on 17-18 Cornhill after the Post Office announced in 2016 that it was relocating for commercial reasons.

The council completed the purchase for £1.68m in late 2017 and in April, the full council approved the investment of up to £6.72m to redevelop the site while retaining the historic front.

Designs will now go on show at a public exhibition in the building at 17-18 Cornhill. The exhibition will take place on Wednesday, June 27, and Saturday, July 7, from 8am to 4pm, on both days.

Leader of the council John Griffiths said: “This is a major investment in the heart of Bury St Edmunds town centre and the future of our local economy. We hope residents and businesses will be just as excited as we are when they see what we are looking to achieve.

“We see this as a landmark development, something which will ignite the imaginations of other landowners and investors particularly in St Andrew’s Street South where we will create a new shop front. It will also achieve our long term ambition to widen Market Thoroughfare for the good of the town – something that we were previously unable to deliver as we didn’t own any of the buildings. These things would be very much less likely to happen had the council not taken the initiative when it did.”

Alaric Pugh, Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth, said: “These designs have already been shaped by what the public had to say during our town centre masterplan engagement last year. We have also been working alongside an advisory group which includes the representatives of businesses and other key town centre partners and their input has been invaluable.

“This is the first project to come forward from the masterplan. It is also the first one announced under our Growth Investment Strategy which enables us to occasionally to look at schemes such as this, that won’t deliver great financial returns to the council, investments that no commercial investor would consider, but one where we can focus on the wider social and economic benefits that can be achieved on behalf of our local residents and businesses.”

The designs also include much needed town centre housing to help toward increasing demand.

People can view the designs and find out more at the public exhibition on June 27 and July 7.

Anyone who cannot make the dates can go online from June 27 to view design images and read further how this directly relates to both the town centre masterplan and the council’s Growth Investment Strategy.

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