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Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre to receive extra £110,000 for planning and safety preparations

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An extra £110,000 is to be ploughed into planning and safety preparations for the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre - with an ambition for the event to 'provide a benefit across West Suffolk'.

West Suffolk Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve the funding ‘to provide team resilience for the planning and safety of the event’.

A report to Tuesday’s cabinet said: “It is important to recognise that the fayre needs the right level and number of resources to ensure it can be run safely.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: West Suffolk Council (31789775)
Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: West Suffolk Council (31789775)

“In view of the ongoing development of the fayre, the council does not have sufficient resilience in specialist expertise to deliver the event without further significant training and investment in key areas, such as crowd management, counter terrorism awareness, event safety and planning, control rooms (management and logging) and keeping logs (decision making records).”

The fayre attracts 130,000 visitors over four days.

The budget includes £60,000 for event director support; deputy health and safety officer; deputy event manager; traffic management consultant and traffic management operatives; deputy steward supervisor; and an officer in charge of completing a log.

Another £30,000 is needed for a temporary event support post and £20,000 for a consultant to review the 2020 event and make recommendations for the future.

The report noted: "The intention is that future Christmas Fayres, from the year 2021 onwards will be designed and delivered in a way that aims to further reduce the risk and resources requirements that the council currently commits and holds.

"It is also an aspiration that the fayre should provide a benefit across the whole of West Suffolk."

Cllr Sarah Broughton, cabinet member for resources and performance at West Suffolk, said: “The safety and enjoyment of people coming to the fayre is paramount and the complex demands of the fayre require more staff resource to ensure the event’s continuing success.”

John Griffiths
John Griffiths

John Griffiths, leader of the council, said the fayre is the ‘third largest in the UK, attracts huge numbers of visitors as well as boosting trade for most town centre businesses’.

This year's fayre is from November 26 to 29.