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Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill urges people to enjoy Suffolk's attractions this summer

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This month will hopefully see the Government continue to relax restrictions and enable society to open up further.

As and when this happens it is important that we all get out and support our local hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses.

Currently we are unable to travel to the far-flung destinations many of us might choose to visit for our summer holidays. That doesn’t mean to say we are unable to enjoy ourselves this summer.

Jo Churchill
Jo Churchill

Let’s use it as an opportunity to ‘holiday at home’ and enjoy some of the fantastic local attractions, bars, eateries and businesses on our doorstep.

With football fever having descended over the nation over the past month, we have seen our streets and hospitality venues busier than we have in a long time, which I very much welcome. By getting vaccinated and following the guidance we have gained some of our freedoms back, and with hospitalisations low and thankfully Covid deaths similar, we are on course to return to those things we love the most and that we have missed over the past year and a half.

I am lucky to live locally and have recently visited one of our great Greene King pubs, the Kings Arms in Haughley. It was fantastic to speak with staff and customers about the return of hospitality and how best to support the industry going forwards.

The food and atmosphere were fantastic, and it was so nice to be in a sociable setting once again. We are lucky to have such a range of pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars in our area, and I would thoroughly recommend getting out and trying as many as you can some glorious Suffolk summer nights, including some of our brilliant independent hospitality businesses.

Another great countryside offer is the Brewers Arms, in Rattlesden, but I will stop as I don’t want to be accused of favouritism as there are far too many to list!

A holiday at home is not complete without a visit to a local attraction.

Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens
Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens

Maybe visit the Theatre Royal, the Abbey Gardens, Abbeygate Cinema or the bustling high street in Bury.

Other suggestions to the East include the newly renovated Regal Cinema, Museum of East Anglian Life and Needham lakes in Mid Suffolk. I was fortunate to visit the newly refurbished Regal cinema in Stowmarket recently and was extremely impressed by the works carried out. It is now a state-of-the-art facility, with two new auditoriums, an expanded foyer, a new and bigger café and a brand new bar. It is a fantastic venue for Stowmarket and one I hope we can use as a springboard to improve the town centre and make it an attractive destination for both residents and visitors.

I think we have a wonderful offering and It is important we share this with others, particularly as we open up our beautiful parts of Suffolk. With our proximity to cities such as London, Cambridge and Chelmsford we have so much to offer visitors from near and far.

Welcoming others brings jobs and investment. It complements our first-class hospitality sector and shows our wonderful towns, villages and countryside at their very best. So, let’s continue to work together to support these vital sectors of our economy, help them build back better and helps us to all enjoy life to its fullest once again.

-- Jo Churchill is MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket

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