Wider Market Thoroughfare to reopen as project nears completion

17 Feb 2023

Market Thoroughfare is to reopen on 22 February 2023

The construction firm working on a major town centre redevelopment in Bury St Edmunds has confirmed the date for the reopening of Market Thoroughfare.

Barnes Construction who are working on the redevelopment of the former Post Office at 17-18 Cornhill on behalf of West Suffolk Council, have confirmed that the brighter and wider walkway can reopen to the public on 22 February.

Market Thoroughfare which runs between the arc and the historic town centre, has been closed since September 2020. The site had been vacated three years earlier when the Post Office decided to relocate the business.

The redevelopment delivers 12 apartments and two commercial units, a new frontage onto St Andrews St South to act as a catalyst for further improvement to the street from landlords and investors, while the Victorian front on Cornhill has been kept and brought back into economic use. The new building is environmentally friendlier than the old Post Office building. It has been built with enhanced energy efficiency in mind including new windows, solar panels and an air source heat pump.
Market Thoroughfare meanwhile has been dramatically improved. Now measuring 3.8m across at ground-floor level, the walkway is more than 50 per cent wider than it was previously, achieved by giving over some of the commercial space at ground floor level. Windows running the length of the building make the area lighter and brighter while new paving has also been installed. The reopening of Market Thoroughfare also enables prospective business tenants and people interested in buying the apartments, to see more of the redevelopment in its splendour. 
Mark Hart, Joint Managing Director at Barnes Construction said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen Market Thoroughfare from Wednesday 22 February ahead of handover on this major redevelopment in Bury St Edmunds town centre, which is expected to be completed once the final utilities have been connected.”

The whole project delivers on some of the aims of the Bury St Edmunds Town Centre Masterplan, shaped by 8000 public comments, while concept drawings of the scheme also received overwhelming support at a public exhibition held in the former Post Office in 2018. 

Throughout the project, the council has sought the input from representatives of town centre groups including The Bury Society, Bury St Edmunds Town Trust, Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, the arc, Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership, Bury St Edmunds Town Council and Suffolk County Council.

Cllr Susan Glossop, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, said: “I am very pleased that we can now announce the date for the reopening of Market Thoroughfare as we move closer to completion on this exciting redevelopment. This has been an ambitious and challenging project and I would like to thank everyone including local businesses, the community, town centre workers and visitors for their continuing patience and support. I hope they will be as pleased as I am with the wider walkway when they see it for themselves later this month.”

Cllr Sarah Broughton, Cabinet Member for Resources and Property, said “The council has already had significant interest in the commercial units and the reopening of Market Thoroughfare will allow the Council to show prospective new tenants around the building which is great news. We are also pushing for a completion date which will allow the Council to finalise the sale of the apartments with nine of the 12 already under offer.”

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council said: “This project has had near unanimous support from councillors, town centre partners and the public. It builds on our considerable investment in the town centre and demonstrates our continuing commitment and confidence in its future as a lovely place people will continue to come to, whether to work, to live or to visit. It is also great that we have had strong interest in both the new apartments and commercial units. I am delighted that we are now able to reopen the much-improved Market Thoroughfare and I am very much looking forward to seeing everything completed.”

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership was awarded £32.1m through the Government’s Getting Building Fund, including £2.75m for the Cornhill project.

C-J Green, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is an important thoroughfare which connects the historic part of the town and the Arc shopping centre and it is a real boost for the town.

“It is essential for the economic future of our cities and town centres that we make them as appealing as possible for businesses, shoppers and visitors, creating attractive spaces with a view to maximising footfall.”  

For more on the project see www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/cornhill

Posted in categories: press release, news

How would you rate our website?
Page rating 1 star Page rating 2 star Page rating 3 star Page rating 4 star Page rating 5 star