Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre cancelled but West Suffolk Council promises a “A merry Bury Christmas”

The Christmas in Bury St Edmunds initiative has been launched by a range of local partners to benefit local businesses and the community to have a good festive period.

Partners from across Bury St Edmunds are working together on a range of festive events and initiatives this Christmas which will last several weeks.

These will keep the area COVID safe and able to adapt to any Government changes to guidance that could come along.

At the same time, it will encourage all residents and families across West Suffolk, especially those who have had a hard time during the pandemic, to have a good Christmas while supporting businesses, employers and suppliers in the area as well as the local economy.

Last year the Christmas Fayre which is held over four days had to be postponed due to COVID-19 and the need to reduce the spread of infection. This year West Suffolk Council will be running an event as part of Christmas in Bury St Edmunds but this will not be the fayre due to the need to keep COVID safe and be able to change as guidance does.

The Christmas in Bury St Edmunds will start in November and organisations and businesses are also invited to come forward with their events and ideas to be included in the programme.

So far organisations including West Suffolk Council, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Our Bury St Edmunds BID, Bury and Beyond, the Cathedral and the Arc Centre as well as Bury Free Press are looking how to make sure this Christmas is a cracker for the town and local area.

Following the Government’s roadmap, plans are afoot to bring about a series of COVID-19 safe events under the Christmas in Bury St Edmunds campaign that will be over held over several weeks.

Planning is at the early stages but as details of the events, which will include Christmas lights switch on, are formed they will be published.

It is also expected that West Suffolk Council will look to work with partners across the areas to see how other Christmas events can be put on to benefit the whole of West Suffolk.

Mark Cordell, Chief Executive Officer, Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, said: “While it is disappointing that the Fayre will not be happening this year, we want to continue to make sure our businesses and communities have the best Christmas they can have this year and in the future. Christmas in Bury St Edmunds fits with the work the BID and our businesses have been doing for the Bury Bouncing Back campaign. We look forward to a range of events being delivered in the run up to Christmas. Already there is on offer that makes Bury St Edmunds such a great place to visit, eat and shop in and the planned events for the festive season will only enhance what is already here.”

Bury St Edmunds Town Council Clerk Greg Luton said “We are delighted this vibrant plan is getting off the ground. The Town Council have been involved in Christmas festivities in Bury since the start, and we’re looking forward to forthcoming events. Christmas in Bury is always very special and we hope to be part of it again this year.”

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, said: “The Cathedral is looking forward to working with our partners in the town to bring a new look to the Christmas offer this year. Christmas is a time when families come together, and we hope that this year we can offer visitors a chance to enjoy a unique experience at the Cathedral with a specially planned event and traditional carol services.”

Steve Bunce, Centre Manager, for the Arc Shopping Centre, said: “Arc Shopping Centre has always been proud to be part of this wonderful town centre and after the challenging recent times are pleased to be part of this initiative, ensuring that we can provide an appropriate Christmas atmosphere for all of our customers and residents in 2021 and beyond.”

Melanie Lesser, Chair of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “Our visitors and tourism businesses will be disappointed that the Christmas Fayre will not go ahead in Bury St Edmunds this year. But we look forward to working with partners this year to encourage visitors to the town over an extended festive period.”

Cllr Susan Glossop, Portfolio Holder for Growth for West Suffolk Council, said: “Now that the Government roadmap has been published and infection rates are reduced, we are looking with a group of partner organisations to bring a great Christmas to Bury St Edmunds. Christmas in Bury St Edmunds will help, over several weeks attract our residents and families into the town to enjoy the festive period and support local businesses, employers and suppliers. Importantly it will be done in a COVID safe way. All plans will follow emerging national guidelines and due to the pandemic may be subject to change. We look forward to working not only together with our partners but would welcome other community organisations to join in this great initiative. West Suffolk Council will also explore how other towns and communities in West Suffolk can benefit this Christmas. We are really excited to capture the community spirit which has been so ably demonstrated during the pandemic by local organisations.”