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Redevelopment of former Post Office, in Bury St Edmunds, progresses as scaffolding installed for restoration work and windows

Restoration work and environmental improvements will be carried out as part of a major redevelopment project at a prominent Bury St Edmunds site in the coming weeks.

Scaffolding is being installed around the Victorian facade of the former Post Office to allow for restoration work and the installation of new windows.

Following the Post Office's move to neighbouring WHSmith, West Suffolk Council purchased 17-18 Cornhill for a multi-million redevelopment.

Bury St Edmunds post office during building work in July 2021 (50569226)
Bury St Edmunds post office during building work in July 2021 (50569226)

The project will see the historic facade retained while Market Thoroughfare will be widened by more than 50 per cent and new business frontages facing on to St Andrew's Street South and Market Thoroughfare will be created.

The scheme includes two ground floor business units with 12 flats above.

When finished, a new shopfront will curve from St Andrew's Street South into Market Thoroughfare, which will increase in width from 2.4m to 3.8m.

Bury St Edmunds post office during building work in July 2021 (50569224)
Bury St Edmunds post office during building work in July 2021 (50569224)

The Cornhill facade is being retained, however a step has been removed to improve access and a second arch will be created to serve the wider Market Thoroughfare.

Meanwhile, the building will include solar panels for electricity and be heated by an air source heat pump.

Work to protect the Victorian façade has already seen a retention system in place for nine months – it was removed in July – while the rest of the building, much of it built at a later date, was demolished.

The project is due to be completed next year.

Cllr Susan Glossop, West Suffolk Council cabinet member for growth, said: “The Victorian front is an important part of our town’s history and heritage.

"This scaffolding enables work to further help protect and enhance the front, which is in the town centre conservation area.

"Not only that, it also enables us to carry out improvements that will help us achieve our environmental ambitions for this site, for the businesses that will work there and the residents who will live there.

"Our investment demonstrates our confidence in the future of the high street as a place where people live and work, as well as shop, socialise, enjoy a meal or take part in other leisure and cultural activities.”

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