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Save money, carbon and become more sustainable

The Carbon Charter in conjunction with THE Suffolk Growth organisation has provided some funding to provide online information sessions about how smaller businesses can reduce their carbon footprint.

The one hour sessions are aimed at the following businesses, just click on the links below to book these FREE online sessions:

Tuesday 17 October at 10am – Hospitality

Thursday 19 October at 3.30pm – Food and Retail

Thursday 2 November at 10am – Visitor Attractions

A magical experience for families this Christmas

A magical, memorable experience set to entertain families of all ages in Bury St Edmunds this Christmas, has already seen over 900 tickets sold in just its first week on sale.

Set in an all-weather auditorium in the stunning Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, children and adults alike will enjoy an Oscar® winning modern retelling of Peter and the Wolf, accompanied by live performances from the fantastic Orpheus Sinfonia.

And children under five can delight in the experience for free, although they must have a ticket and be accompanied by an adult.
Peter and the Wolf tells the inspirational story of a child finding their own inner strength and courage to overcome adversity. The modern adaption by Breakthru Films, recreates Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 classic symphonic fairy tale.

In total, 16 performances will take place from Thursday 7 December to Sunday 10 December, with screenings each day at 1pm, 3.15pm, 5.30pm and 7.45pm.

Peter & the Wolf Live is being organised by West Suffolk Council as part of the Christmas in Bury St Edmunds partnership of events and activities.

Cllr Cliff Waterman, Leader at West Suffolk Council, said: “We are delighted to be putting on this magical, memorable experience for families across our West Suffolk communities to enjoy in the run up to this Christmas.

“It’s part of the wider mix of festive fun organised by the Christmas in Bury St Edmunds partnership for people across West Suffolk and visitors to the area to come along, have a good time, and support the shops, cafes, restaurants, and other local businesses.
“It’s also another example of the wonderful mix of leisure and cultural activity taking place, that makes West Suffolk a great place to visit all year around, but an even better place to live and work.”

Tickets are still available and cost £15 for adults, £8 for children aged between five to 15, while under fives get in free but must have a ticket and be accompanied by an adult. To book tickets visit the What’s on West Suffolk website or phone 01284 758000, or book in person at The Apex in Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds.

Christmas in Bury St Edmunds includes events and activities by the arc, Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds Town Council and West Suffolk Council.

For more on what’s on in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area in the run up to this Christmas, visit

Bury Free Press BID Column August 2023

The annual Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink is almost upon us – showcasing why the town is the foodie capital of Suffolk. I’m delighted that this year we have more stalls than ever including more than 20 that haven’t been part of this event before. It promises to be great free family event over the Sunday and Monday of this Bank Holiday weekend.

The ’foodie’ reputation isn’t something that ‘just happens’. It’s the result of the hard work and high standards of so many restaurants, cafes, bars and other food and drink related businesses in the town. The plethora of awards that are bestowed on our businesses is testament to that. Pea Porridge has recently retained its Michelin Star and Lark has been recognised by The Good Food Guide.

This summer, regional magazine Velvet held its first ever Food & Drink Awards. The team at Vino Gusto picked up the Food & Drink Hero award. The judges were impressed with the way this business has grown from an online venture during the pandemic into a fully rounded business. I remember this initiative starting during that very difficult time for hospitality and initially opening as a wine shop within the One Bull. Congratulations to all involved with the venture for making it such a success. And in the Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year category at the same awards the innovative Procopio’s Pantry in Langton Place was a runner up. A great achievement for such a young business, that at the time of the awards had been established for less than two years.

The national Muddy Stiletto Awards have been established 10 years and celebrate independent businesses across a wide range of categories. A number of Bury St Edmunds based businesses made it through to the regional finals in this case from across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The Angel was the regional winner in the Hotel/Inn section and The Theatre Royal topped the Theatre/Arts Venue category. However, The Wine Cellar in the Buttermarket took the national award for Best New Lifestyle Start Up. Again, and as the award suggests, this is another young business in the town – having recently celebrated its first anniversary. The team will be taking part in the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival – see them on the stage in the Stoves Cookery Theatre on Monday and The Angel will also be on stage on the Sunday.

Others showcasing in the theatre kitchen over the two days include: The Bay Tree, Rustico, 1921, The Olive Grove and Baskervilles to name but a few. And of course the event has all the other much-loved elements for a family day out including fairground rides, big games and of course the urban beach which will remain at arc Shopping Centre for another week. We hope it’s a great weekend for our member businesses and for all who come along to visit.


arc Shopping Centre raises £1,200 for charity

arc Shopping Centre’s Summer Show returned to Charter Square on Wednesday the 16th August as part of One Great Day, a nationwide fundraising event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and arc’s charity of the year, Gatehouse.

The allure of good weather and the pup from down under brought hundreds of Bury St Edmunds families to the outdoor shopping centre for a day of fun and excitement. A total of 20 adorable pups entered into the dog show, with categories including ‘Most Pawsome Pup’ and ‘Golden Oldie’! As a dog-friendly shopping centre, the team were on hand with a dog cooling station featuring cooling mats, shade and lots of water to ensure all dogs were kept well cared for throughout the event. Jon Kay from Camp Tails Doggy Day Care was also on hand to help Allan and Sam with the judging, plus offer dog care advice too – Jon was instrumental in setting up #DogFriendlyBSE.

Queues formed early, with children and parents alike hoping to grab a quick pic with Bluey, with over 100 people eagerly waiting their turn throughout the day.
Allan Hassell the Centre Manager at the arc said “An absolutely amazing ‘fun-raising’ day in support of Gatehouse Food Bank in Bury St Edmunds and GOSH charities.

“Last year was special when we raised £700, but we smashed that this year and raised £1,200! We can’t thank everyone enough who worked hard on the day, plus with all the preparation to make the day what it was – absolutely marvellous!”

The day consisted of face painting, cornhole, mini golf, balloon modelling and more, so there was plenty for people to enjoy and all for two great causes. Allan added “The biggest thank you must go to the lovely people of Bury St Edmunds and beyond, as they gave so generously on the day – especially given how hard it is for so many people right now.”

Amanda, CEO of Gatehouse was thrilled with the positive response of the day saying: “As you can imagine demand has increased over the summer holidays and I am sure winter will soon be upon us creating even more issues, so the support will be very much appreciated.”

Allan, echoed Amanda’s comments: “This money will really help those that need Gatehouses support. Sadly, food banks have never been so needed, but right now they have seen a big reduction in donations – please support your local food bank if you are able to. Thank you.”

East Anglian Beer & Cider Festival – Just Three Weeks To Go!

In just three weeks the 31st East Anglian Beer & Cider Festival, opens its doors once more, by kind permission of the Dean & Chapter at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.
This year’s event will run for six days from Wednesday 23rd – Monday 28th August 2023.

All proceeds will support local charities and good causes. Last year’s event raised over £20,000. This year’s festival is the 31st, having run annually since 1991. The organisers are planning another great event, with a full entertainment programme and a wide range of beers, ciders and other drinks. To make the Festival accessible for all, admission to the weekday daytime, Sunday and Monday sessions will be FREE. The festival also repeats the popular Anytimer and Weekender tickets allowing access to multiple sessions.

All Early Bird Tickets have now been sold and reduced price ‘Value’ tickets can be obtained up until the week before the festival at

The entertainment programme features a 60s/70s themed night on Friday and 80s themed night on Saturday headlined by the Kopy Katz. Folk music will be featured on Thursday and Wednesday is our Armed Forces / Blue Light evening.

This year’s festival is dedicated to Mike Shave, a festival volunteer and CAMRA committee member, who passed away in November 2022. Mike was a beekeeper and the festival has commissioned a commemorative ‘Honey Gold Festivale’ brewed using honey from Mike’s beehives. The new ale will be on sale in local pubs in the lead up to the festival and, of course, on site at the festival.
The festival will feature over 250 real and craft ales plus over 50 ciders, a World Beer bar and a range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Martin Bate, Beer Festival Organiser said “This year’s festival is dedicated to a dear colleague who sadly passed away last year. Mike was our festival beer order supremo

and webmaster for the CAMRA branch website. He is sorely missed. We are looking forward to a great festival and hope that everyone will join us and raise a glass to Mike.”
The Very Rev’d Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury, said, “We’re thrilled to host the East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival once again this year. The festival is a wonderful way to pay homage to the Benedictine hospitality of our roots at the Abbey and also to welcome new people to our Cathedral.”

The festival opens to the general public on Wednesday 23rd August at 5.30pm and runs for 6 days until Bank Holiday Monday.

Talent shines at Regional Young Market Traders Competition

The East of England regional final for the National Market Traders Federation Young Traders Market took place in Bury St Edmunds On Wednesday 26 July the .

Aged between 16 to 30, the young traders progressed to the regional final after competing in the local heats across the region.

20 young entrepreneurs turned up to compete to win one of the following categories: general retail, arts and crafts, food and drink, and groceries.

A team of local judges, comprised of Cllr Donna Higgins, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council, Sophie Mann, NMTF’s Young Trader of the Year for 2022 and Mike Kirkham, Business Support Manager at Our Bury St Edmunds, assessed the traders on their products, customer service skills, professionalism and how they interact with other market traders.

Cllr Donna Higgins, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council said: “It was a delight to participate as a judge for the regional competition. I was really impressed at the quality of the products available and the incredible talent, dedication and passion each of the young traders showed.”

Jessica Pratt of Morsi’s was crowned winner of the Food and Drink category and overall winner of the East of England regional competition. Jess serves a range of gluten and dairy free treats alongside hot and cold drinks from her mobile food truck. The Morsi’s truck can be found at the monthly Bury St Edmunds Makers Markets and can be hired out for events.

Congratulations to the young traders who won their category in the regional competition:

Helen Costello of The Bottle Bank Co – winner of the Arts and Crafts category
Amanda Hoggatt of Meadow & Woodland Livestock – winner of the Grocery category
Jessica Pratt of Morsi’s – winner of the Food and Drink category
Hannah Evans of Lavender & Lilac Candle Co – winner of the General Retail category
The following traders achieved highly commended awards in the regional final:

Olivia Washington of Olivia’s Curiosities – General Retail category
Sophie Aris of Handmade Galore – Arts and Crafts category
Holly Carr Maskell of DearLove Limited – Food and Drink category
Tiffany Spark of Tiffs Tempting Treats – Grocery category

The winners from the regional final have been invited to the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) national final in Stratford-upon-Avon over the August bank holiday weekend. The winner of the national final will receive a prestigious trophy, £500 cash and a mobile credit card terminal.

Cllr Indy Wijenayaka, Cabinet Member for Growth at West Suffolk Council said: “It was brilliant for West Suffolk to host the East of England Regional Young Traders competition once again. This is a unique opportunity for young traders to showcase their creativity, talents and skills whilst growing their businesses and network with new and established traders. Markets are a vital part of our local community and economy; hosting events like the regional competition promotes the value of the markets to young entrepreneurs to encourage the next generation to utilise them.”

The NMTF Young Traders Market is a national campaign to encourage young people to trade at local markets. West Suffolk Council supports the event by supplying tables and gazebos, as well as covering insurance costs.

Beach is Top of the Menu at Our Bury St Edmunds Festival

Bury St Edmunds’ favourite bank holiday beach is back next month alongside a feast of delicious tastes and tipples at the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival.

August Bank Holiday weekend brings one of the highlights of the summer when the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival returns to shine a spotlight on the foodie capital of Suffolk. This free admission two-day event promises a full menu of food and drink treats and displays as well as a host of family fun.

The Stoves Cookery Theatre is at the very heart of the Festival with a programme of displays and demonstrations showcasing chefs from some of the area’s most popular award-winning dining establishments, complemented by tips on how to mix your favourite cocktails. In addition, a farmers’ market will be on Angel Hill and dozens of stalls will line the town centre selling a range of cuisines from around the world and everything those who love cooking could desire.

The Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival is organised by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation for the town. Our Bury St Edmunds Chief Executive Mark Cordell said: “This year’s Festival will be the first since Covid to include an urban beach, which will be returning to Charter Square in arc Shopping Centre. And in partnership with the team at arc we’ve arranged for it to remain there until the following Sunday (September 3), meaning families can come back into town and build sandcastles every day if they wish to.

“And of course, the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival will also offer all the food and drink attractions that have made this an event not to be missed. We know that foodies travel from near and far to visit our town and this event is another good reason to do so.”

As well as the urban beach, complete with deckchairs, there will be a range of children’s activities in and around the town centre, including fairground rides, Big Games and free street entertainment across both days. The Festival is in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care, supported by Stoves UK, Shop Safe and Haart.

The event runs from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August.

Get Ready For Life in the Fast Lane at Motorsport East

A motorsport world champion is one of the special guests at the Our Bury St Edmunds Motorsport East event on Sunday (July 16). Joining the free fun day out for all the family will be seven-year-old Mason Carberry from Stanton, recently crowned Ninja Kart World Champion and believed to be the youngest ever World Champion in the Short Circuit formula.

A show of cars and sporting vehicles will fill the town centre, with more than 65 different exhibits all curated by well-known local rally cross commentator and motorsport journalist Arthur Debenham. Laura Cooledge – a Women in Motorsport Ambassador and Club Development Officer at Anglia Motor Sport Club co-hosts the day.

Motorsport East will feature some spectacular competition vehicles – as well as Mason’s Ninja Kart, which he has been invited to take to South Africa to race, there will also be a recent Le Mans winner on display. Two 1930s Talbot 105s that a fortnight previously were first and second in the Le Mans Classic for pre-war vehicles will also be on show, courtesy of John Rushton.

Chief Executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell said: “The line up for this event gets better every year and I am delighted that these recent winners are able to join us. In addition, there’ll be a number of free attractions for all the family at arc shopping centre. And of course it’s a great opportunity to just make the most of our fabulous town centre and enjoy everything else that it offers too.”

One of the attractions that’s expected to be hugely popular is the rare opportunity to drive an F1 Stealth Racer Simulator – at no charge (age/height restrictions apply). Take part in our competition and you could find yourself winning a fabulous gift card prize. And don’t miss the chance to get up close to the first electric super-car to be built in this country with this exciting Mini confirmed as an exhibit too.

This year the event’s chosen local charity is St Nicholas Hospice Care. Any donations will be gratefully received.

Admission to Motorsport East is free and it runs from 10am to 4pm.

Tiny Art Around Town Project Launches

A community project which will see people create mini art works to go on display in 40 pop-up exhibitions, has launched in Bury St Edmunds.

The Tiny Art Around Town project which launched in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, coincides with one of the UK’s biggest exhibitions of contemporary art, Mutiny in Colour, which is being held at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds, the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket and Haverhill Arts Centre with each venue displaying different pieces.

Over the summer, Tiny Art will see residents and visitors to Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Newmarket, create business card sized pieces which will then go on display in various locations around the town centres.

Tiny Art Around Town is a community project based in west Suffolk. Jac Campbell, is coordinating Tiny Art Around Town along with her fellow artist, Tom Ogden.

One of those locations is The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, which is now displaying Tiny Art created at Saturday’s launch by West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Ian Shipp, and Mark Cordell of Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District, which has supported the project.

Chief Executive Mark Cordell said: “I’m no Banksy but I am delighted to be one of the first of the Tiny Artists to create work to go on display in the town. It’s fantastic to have works by Banksy, Grayson Perry and Blek le Rat for anyone visiting our town centre to come along and enjoy.

“And the Tiny Art project adds to the excitement as it means we can all get involved and create our own small pieces of artwork to go on display in shop windows and other locations around the town centre.”

West Suffolk Council which runs Moyse’s Hall Museum and The Apex, initiated the Mutiny in Colour exhibition with support from Brandler Galleries, and is a partner in the Tiny Art project.

Cllr Shipp said: “It’s a great to have Mutiny in Colour in West Suffolk this summer. Our brilliant mix of leisure and cultural activity is one of the things that makes West Suffolk such an attractive place to live and work.

“All of the partners have worked to keep admissions costs as low as we can, and by bringing this to West Suffolk, we are making it more accessible so it can be enjoyed by residents as well as visitors.

“Hopefully people will go the exhibition in the three towns and feel inspired to create their own pieces of Tiny Art to go on display. There will be lots of people who are far better artists than me and if I can do it anyone can, so come along and join the Mutiny.”

Tiny Art Around Town will launch in Newmarket on Saturday 15 July and Haverhill on 22 July and will run until the end of August.

It follows on from the success of a similar project in 2021 during the Moments exhibition at Moyse’s Hall, when residents created art on unused pizza boxes which were displayed in town centre shop windows.

Art lovers can follow a Tiny Art map trail showing the location of the 40 galleries across the three towns. These can be downloaded via social media or collected in person from Moyse’s Hall Museum, The Apex, the National Horse Racing Museum and Haverhill Arts Centre, as well as from the various Tiny Art Galleries themselves.

All the latest news about the tiny galleries and other Mutiny in Colour community events will be shared via Instagram @artaroundtownwestsuffolk.

People can also book for Mutiny in Colour at

West Suffolk Council is supporting the exhibition at Haverhill Arts Centre with £24,307 from the money it was allocated from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Pictured:  Cllr Cliff Waterman, leader of West Suffolk Council with Mark Cordell, Cllr Ian Shipp, Jac Campbell and Tom Ogden of Tiny Art Around Town.