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Bury's momentous day
It was a great honour for St Edmundsbury Cathedral to be visited by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The completion of the Cathedral Tower is historic and it is fitting that the heir to the throne led the celebration. I hope that the new Tower will be a heritage monument for many hundreds of years to come and serve as a reminder to future generations what makes our town so special.
The town was truly a-buzz with excitement as local people crowded the streets to be a part of the celebrations.
We are home to a major new landmark that will attract people from across the country and even across the world. The wonderful fusion of the old Cathedral and the new Tower form a truly spectacular sight and one that should act as a great tourist attraction.
That will mean a further boost for our local economy and generate more money and jobs.
The number of tourists visiting the St Edmundsbury Cathedral has increased fourfold from around 1,000 during the whole of last summer to 4,000 in just one week over the Easter period.
The completion of this ambitious project is a wonderful achievement made possible only by the hard work and dedication of so many local people.
Since the time I became the MP in 1997 the Cathedral has played a major role in so many of my official duties. It has been at the centre of so many special occasions, and has played an enormous part in the life of our town.
The Heir to the throne visited this great heritage monument. He also visited the other great glory of our town, St Nicholas Hospice.
Since the Hospice was first founded in 1984 it has gone from strength to strength providing essential care for patients and their families who are living with terminal illnesses like cancer. I know of so many families who could not have survived without the Hospice’s care and support.
This support is entirely free to all who need their help. But, this would not be possible without the generous support of our local communities, with the majority of their funding coming from voluntary donations.
Two monuments in our town: our Cathedral and our Hospice. Both honoured by the heir to the Crown. Truly, a day to remember.
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