Bury Free Press BID Column October 2023

The darker evenings and cooler weather remind us that winter is almost here – but the good news is that it won’t be long before the town centre becomes welcoming and bright after dark once the Christmas Lights go on next month. As always, we have an evening of entertainment and attractions for the first night of illuminations and we hope many town centre businesses will also benefit from the additional numbers coming in. The Our Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights Event is on Thursday November 16 between 3pm and 8pm. There’ll be a range of stalls selling crafts and gifts as well as a number supporting local good causes.

The Christmas Lights Event really heralds the start of the festive season in the town centre – and here at the BID we recognise what an important trading period this is for our member businesses. We believe that decorating the town is a critical element for this time of year but we ensure that all the lights use the most energy efficient LED bulbs and last year we also reduced the number of hours per day that the lights are on. It’s saddened me to read in the media recently how across the country a number of councils have decided not to fund Christmas lights this year and in some areas businesses and even residents have had to step in to arrange and pay for whatever can be managed at short notice. Our decorations and Christmas trees are also designed to be ‘instagram-able’ – giving many another reason to come into town. There is a huge amount going on in Bury St Edmunds in the run up to Christmas as we work with a number of partner organisations on various festive activities – full details can be found at

Of course, if you’re struggling for a Christmas gift idea the Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Card is a perfect solution. It’s particularly good for a staff reward or thank you to customers at this time of year. If your business would be interested in this and would like to purchase a larger number of cards please contact the BID office for more information.

It’s good to see more new businesses preparing to open in the town including Clarendon Fine Art and Joy Connection. And it was great to see so many Bury St Edmunds businesses recognised at the West Suffolk Business Awards a couple of weeks ago, promoted by the Bury Free Press. Congratulations to Ellisons Solicitors who won the Customer Service Award, sponsored by the BID. The Angel Hotel and Theatre Royal also picked up prizes as did EcoCarriers. Voluntary BID member Thomas Ridley MD Justin Godfrey won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finally we’re conducting a survey about the town centre until the end of the month. Many thanks to those businesses who have sent the link to their customers.

By Mark Cordell, CEO of Our Bury St Edmunds BID.

Posted 7 months ago