A new information point and plant sales area is to open in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds this week, offering visitors even more to enjoy.
The Abbey Gardens attracts more than 1.2 million visits per year with the footfall recorded at its entrances. One of the big attractions is the floral displays which are looked after by West Suffolk Council and a team of volunteers.
It is anticipated that the gardens will have even more visits next year.
The Abbey Gardens is part of the much larger area that once served as the Abbey of St Edmund and next year will see community celebrations to mark 1,000 years since the Abbey was founded by King Canute.
The new building, which has a sedum roof, offers a better space for plant sales and to direct people to information about the history of the Abbey and the town. It will open at noon on Thursday.
A spokesman for the West Suffolk Council said: “The Abbey Gardens and the wider historic fabric and heritage of the Abbey of St Edmund continues to be a popular attraction for local residents and visitors alike. We recognise that people visit the gardens for leisure activities as well as to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. That is why we are continuing to invest in its facilities as well as building new tennis courts on the site of the former Eastgate Nurseries on the other side of the river.”
West Suffolk Council is a member of the Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership, set up to help people better understand the life and times of St Edmund and the Medieval Abbey and to ensure its conservation for future generations to enjoy.
Further improvements will be made in the area as the work of the Heritage Partnership progresses including a series of community celebrations next year to mark 1,000 years since the foundation of the Abbey.
The new building has been built on a redundant part of the aviary which was being used for storage. The aviary, which continues to be popular with visitors, will stay, while the old rangers hut near the bowling green will be used by the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides.