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Contact Our Bury St Edmunds

About Us

The Our Bury St Edmunds BID was created on 1st April 2010 and was successfully returned for its third 5-year term, which commenced on 1st April 2020.

The following are our current 4 main objectives.

1. Enhancing the Visitor Experience

To encourage repeat visits to the town, we must ensure that people enjoy their experience.

The best marketing for our town is word of mouth, a recommendation from friends and family, and this only happens if visitors like what they find and have a positive experience regarding when they visit.

The BID does this by:

BID events that bring thousands of people to the town centre

Our two-day Spring Fayre in late May.

Motorsport East show in July.

Our two-day Food and Drink Festival in late August.

Christmas Lights Event in mid-November.

BID members get a 50% discount to have a stall at our events.

Lighting up the town for Christmas

The BID is responsible for the Christmas Lights displayed in the town and there is a refurbishment and replacement programme in place. Hence, the town looks as attractive as possible during the 7-8 weeks before and after Christmas Day, that the lights are illuminated, which is a critical trading period for our members.

Cleaning the town centre of graffiti

We offer a free service to remove graffiti from the business units of BID members and where appropriate public spaces too.

Keeping Bury St Edmunds looking blooming beautiful

Creating and maintaining a visually attractive environment centre is key to encouraging people to visit, revisit and remain in our town centre, which benefits our members.

We work with the local charity Bury in Bloom in providing floral displays across the town centre as part of our contribution to the town being recognised regionally and nationally for its floral displays.

Encouraging and promoting other town centre events

We work with other organisations to have as many different events going on in the town, including regular Makers and Farmers Markets.

Keeping Bury St Edmunds town centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit

We have a good working relationship

and regularly liaise with the Police and West Suffolk Council regarding Crime and Disorder issues to ensure that the town centre feels like a safe place to visit.

2. Marketing your town

Having done all we can to ensure that Bury St Edmunds is a popular visitor and retail destination, we then need to provide as many people as possible, with this information so they are aware of what the town, has to offer.

The Our Bury St Edmunds brand markets and promotes the town to predominantly those who live or work in the town and those that do not live in the town but regularly visit here within a 30-mile radius of the town. We see these as our regular customers who we must keep encouraging to revisit the town.

We market and promote the town’s offer via our website, our social media channels, PR, broadcast and print advertising and printed promotional material wherever we feel are appropriate to promote our events.

We also want to get new customers to visit the town, and so through the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond visitor brand, we promote and market the town as a tourist destination. We predominantly target those living in London, the Home Counties, the Southeast and the Midlands.

Since launching the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond brand in September 2017, it has had over 2 million visits to its website, and the town has been featured in hundreds of national publications and we have hosted over 50 press trips from national and sometimes international journalists.

3. Improving the town centre trading environment

We support the businesses in the town centre by improving the trading environment in which they operate.

This includes:

  • Free training for businesses that they would otherwise have to pay for.
  • Advertising Town centre business vacancies on our website.
  • Providing a voice for town centre businesses on national and local issues that affect them.
  • Building productive relationships with all three councils responsible for Bury St Edmunds town centre and our local MP.
  • Influencing issues and representing town centre businesses in Bury St Edmunds at a national and regional level as members of British BIDS and Eastern BIDs Network, of which our CEO is currently Chair.
  • Working with commercial organisations in helping town centre businesses reduce their operating costs.
  • Keeping up with new trends and providing information to businesses on new trends – recently we provided information for our members to consider accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services, as this trend is increasing nationwide.
  • Setting up new initiatives to encourage people to visit the town centre and keep spend local – for example town centre trails, the Bury St Edmunds Loyal Free app, Bury St Edmunds Gift Card (currently accepted at over 70 businesses, and any business can sign up to accept the card) and our new Virtual High Street platform.

4. Making your town greener

The issue of climate change and taking better care of our environment is important to many people and yourselves.

The key issue, we believe, is offering an acceptable cost-benefit balance, and to achieve this, we are regularly liaising  with experts within this environment both locally and regionally and these include  &

Additionally, we are pleased to see recent announcements from West Suffolk & Suffolk County Councils about increasing the number of EV charging units in the town and the investment in improving cycling facilities.

We are also pleased to see the increased EV charging facilities that BID member, Waitrose, is now providing.

The BID has reduced its environmental footprint by using recycled paper wherever possible and is investigating the possibility of achieving a net zero status.

Our Bury St Edmunds BID is working with Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw’s Eco Carriers initiative to encourage more people to shop at businesses and have their goods delivered in and around the town.


What is a Business Improvement District? (BID)

As of 2023, there are over 300 BIDs in the UK, with five in Suffolk, located in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds Lowestoft, Newmarket and Felixstowe.

The concept of a BID is to allow local businesses within a specified geographical area to provide a percentage of the rateable value of their trading unit to be paid to an independent, not-for-profit organisation, which then spends the money on behalf of the businesses, delivering additional benefits to those already required to be provided by statutory authorities to improve the trading environment for their members.

For a BID to be introduced, there is a requirement of a ballot whereby all businesses above a stated rateable value and within a geographical area are invited to vote on whether a BID should be introduced.

There is also a requirement to set a rateable value threshold for those businesses entitled to vote in a ballot and who will become BID members should the outcome of the vote be in favour of the BID.

Since the first ballot in 2009, this threshold has been set at £10,000 in Bury St Edmunds.

The Our Bury St Edmunds BID was created on 1st April 2010 and was successfully returned for its third 5-year term, which commenced on 1st April 2020.

Every existing BID must hold a ballot every five years when all BID members are allowed to vote and indicate whether they want the BID to continue. Our next ballot will be held in 2024.

Of those businesses who voted in the most recent ballot, 84% asked that the BID continue, the highest level of support we have received at the three ballots over the past ten years.

The exact number of BID members can fluctuate due to businesses opening and closing, but as of 1/4/23, there are over 400 mandatory BID members. We also have over 30 members who choose to be a BID member even though they may have a rateable value below our £10,000 threshold or be located outside of the BID area (the designated BID area is on pages 24&25 of our current Business Plan which you can download below).

Business Plan
Footfall Data

Key Performance Indicators are essential if the “health” of the town is to be accurately assessed and analysed. These indicators will cover a number of issues including car parking usage, business profitability and footfall data.

On behalf of our members, Springboard, a nationally reputable company who work with the Association of Town and City Management, provide a footfall camera in Abbeygate Street and this was fitted in November 2012 and collects data regulary. On a monthly and yearly basis we can compare our performance against other towns and cities in East Anglia and the country.

Each month we receive a report from Springboard which can be downloaded at the link below.

Download Footfall Data for 2023.

Contact The Team

Chief Executive – Mark Cordell

Events Manager – Jackie Regan

Business Support Manager – Mike Kirkham

Marketing Manager – Sue Warren