Bury Free Press BID Column November 2023
It’s starting to look and feel very Christmassy in the town centre now following the Our Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Event last week. It was good to see lots of people enjoying everything the afternoon and evening had to offer. Many thanks to all who supported the event, we’ve had some very positive feedback.
This time of year is one of the most important trading periods for our member businesses. We know that the economic climate is still very challenging but I am heartened by how vibrant our town centre remains. Mowgli has recently opened on Abbeygate Street and Sneaky Links crazy golf experience and bar has its official opening today in the premises formerly housing Revel Outdoors on Brentgovel Street. I’m always delighted when businesses choose to open a branch here especially if it is a first for them in Suffolk or even East Anglia. Meanwhile Gusto Pronto is an established independent hospitality business locally that has just taken over Damson & Wilde in Abbeygate Street from City Pub Group. And Crumbs is also relocating into The Traverse soon from its current location in High Baxter Street.
This week saw the official launch of a new service for town centre businesses and shoppers, from the award-winning social enterprise EcoCarriers BSE. Shop&Drop is a cycle delivery service for anyone who lives in Bury St Edmunds and a number of nearby villages. It’s now possible to have your shopping delivered on the same day and I imagine it will be a huge boost for people who don’t really want to bring the car a short distance into town for shopping but don’t otherwise have the means of getting their purchases home. A number of our BID member businesses have already signed up to the Shop&Drop initiative and if you are a business owner who wants to support a zero-emission delivery service then do have a look at EcoCarriers BSE. For shoppers, in many cases, the delivery cost will be less than the price of parking the car.
We have recently been running a couple of surveys – one for businesses in the town centre and the other one consumer based for residents and visitors. Thank you to everyone who has completed one or other of them. By letting us know in this way about any issues that are detrimentally affecting your business we can gather evidence for partner organisations to address concerns.
Finally, we hope that the Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Card will be popular again as a gift this Christmas. It has gone from strength to strength since its launch and is now accepted by around 70 town centre businesses. Don’t miss out on this opportunity – there is still time to register to accept it as payment before we anticipate a big spend on it in the new year. Full details are on the Our Bury St Edmunds website or please contact us for more information.
By Mark Cordell, CEO of Our Bury St Edmunds BID.