Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Bury St Edmunds Abbeygate Street Greggs set to undergo months of repairs following two-year campaign





There were celebrations this week as work began to repair a historic building in Bury St Edmunds.

SuffolkNews first highlighted the rapidly deteriorating frontage of Greggs in Abbeygate Street, in March this year.

It followed concerns by former town councillor Tom Murray, who feared the Grade II*-listed building could become dangerous due to blocked guttering, badly rotting timber, and windows and plaster in need of repair.

Martin Taylor, Mark Cordell, Tom Murray and Adrian Tindall have welcomed the news Greggs is bring repaired. Picture: Mark Westley
Martin Taylor, Mark Cordell, Tom Murray and Adrian Tindall have welcomed the news Greggs is bring repaired. Picture: Mark Westley

His call for action was backed by Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides and The Bury Society, a charity which looks after the interests of the town. They dubbed the building ‘a disgrace and an embarrassment’.

Last Thursday, scaffolding was installed and investigations are now under way into what can be repaired, restored and what may need replacing at the 17th Century building.

Mr Murray said: “I’m thrilled. Better late than never. I have been contacting Greggs about the state of the building for two years, and sending them pictures and videos.

Investigations are underway to determine what can be savedPicture: Mecha Morton
Investigations are underway to determine what can be savedPicture: Mecha Morton

“I can’t wait for it to get back to its former glory because it is in one of our best streets in Bury St Edmunds.”

Adrian Tindall, chair of Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides, said: “I’m delighted that Greggs have responded to requests to do something about the building as it is so important, and in such a prominent position.

“There are specialists doing the work so I am confident that they will do a very good job.

“Looking after historic buildings is much more difficult, more time consuming, more complex than ordinary buildings. But I am very optimistic.

Emmerson Critchley is undertaking the work
Emmerson Critchley is undertaking the work

“We are looking forward to starting off our daily tours in April and showing off the building with pride.”

Martyn Taylor, chair of The Bury Society, said: “It is good that it is going ahead. Let’s just hope they do a good job.”

The work is being carried out by Emmerson Critchley Ltd, which specialises in traditional building techniques for heritage and modern properties.

Deteriorating paint work at the storePicture: Mecha Morton
Deteriorating paint work at the storePicture: Mecha Morton

It is understood the Woolpit-based company stepped up to handle the whole project after talks between Greggs and another contractor fell through.

Scaffolding is expected to be in place for a minimum of six to eight months.

Greggs on Abbeygate Street has been repeatedly been dubbed the chain’s poshest and ‘most beautiful’ store by a national newspaper.

A time scale to complete the work has not been set while investigations are under way.

Mark Cordell, CEO of Our Bury St Edmunds (BID), said: “I am absolutely delighted to see the response from Greggs in starting repair of the building as a consequence of the actions of Tom Murray, The Tour Guides, The Bury Society and Bury Free Press.”