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Increase in Retail Thefts in the Town Centre

Unfortunately during the past few weeks a number of our businesses have been targeted by groups and individuals who are stealing a variety of goods.


Both the BID members affected and myself have been liaising with the Police on theses issues and enquiries are progressing but obviously this doesn’t make up for the loss of products initially taken, with many businesses having a policy of not being able to resell goods stolen and recovered.


Although initially the targets were national chains more recently there have been some Independent businesses targeted and below are some excellent images of an individual the Police would like to speak to regarding thefts during the past fortnight.


The value of the goods stolen are around £3000! If you think you recognise this individual please contact me.


Pathways Training Fund 

Pathways Training Fund - Improving the skills of your Workforce by Training your employees


Delivered by Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, and part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) the ‘Pathways Training Fund’ is part of our wider Skills, Progression, Adaptability, Resilience and Coordination Project (SPARC) and was launched in June and is now welcoming applications!


Training is being offered by a network of local partner training providers to over 860 individuals employed by our Norfolk and Suffolk SME businesses in these ‘must have’ areas: 

  • Digital Skills and Industry 4.0
  •  Leadership, Management, Project Management and Mentoring
  • Customer Service and Client Relationship Management
  • Health and Well-being 
  • Innovation training for new ideas, ways of working, products and services, Net Zero. 

The PTF will fund up to 75% of the total training costs, with grants capped at £500.00 per employee/£3,000 per employer. Early feedback says the PTF forms are ‘easy to fill in’ and employers have found the fund ‘easy to apply to.’


Interested applicants are invited to contact for a copy of the guidance and the online eligibility form, if you have any questions, our Project Coordinator is happy to assist.

Pathways 50+

Working in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils and part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), Futures for Business has launched Pathways 50+, a programme supporting local SMEs as well as individuals aged 50+ looking for quality paid work placements.


Employers based in Norfolk or Suffolk can access a grant worth £1,950 to support the recruitment of a person aged 50+ with the creation of a work placement.


Pathways 50+ can help organisations to grow and create jobs in the current economic climate and address challenges faced by diminishing resources and access to a section of the working age population able to offer a rich blend of work-readiness, stability, and experience.


The Pathways 50+ team will provide a free recruitment service enabling organisations to dip into a talent pool of candidates aged 50+ who are actively seeking work.


The £1,950 grant will help support a paid work placement. The placement must:

  • Consist of no fewer than 25 hours per week (it can exceed this)
  • Have a total duration of at least 13 weeks (duration can be longer or permanent)
  • Pay an hourly rate of at least the National Living Wage

Pathways 50+ is a safe, effective, and economical way for businesses to address and fill areas of skills shortages. Employers can try out a 13-week placement before deciding to continue on a permanent basis.


To find out more about Pathways 50+ and how it can support your business please email

Independents Week Monday 4th – Sunday 10th July

Further to my previous Indies Week updates I just wanted to remind you of how you can get involved as we make final preparations to celebrate our 12th annual Independents Week. Our print media campaign has already begun along with our radio ads and our social media campaign begins next week. Also, other indies week specials including the Facebook competition, Instagram reels, animation video and more are receiving their final touches. Listed below are specific things your business may wish to consider taking advantage of to help us work with our Independent businesses to promote your businesses and what you offer to customers.


  • From next Monday 27th June consider using our range of Independents Week social media infographics available via 
  •  On Monday 4th July (USA Independence Day) come and join other indies along with the mayor, town crier and Abraham Lincoln (lookalike) on Angel Hill at 10am for a group photo, let’s try and make this is the biggest and best. I’m sure the media will love this. 
  •  On Monday 4th July between 10.30-11.15am, 11.30-12.30pm, and 1.45-3pm we will be visiting businesses with the town crier and Abraham Lincoln so if you would like them to pop by your business for a photo then just let us know. 
  •  If you have any existing promotions, new products, or offers that just happen to be running or coming online during indies week or you are planning something bespoke for the week just let us know and we will help promote this on our social media, website, and app. 
  •  We will have a limited number of special edition new ‘I’m an Independent Shopper’ Jute bags so if you would like some of these to use as you wish maybe for thanking loyal customers, competition prize etc then just let us know.
  •  If you would like one of the ‘Proud to be an Independent Business’ window stickers (attached image) so visitors can readily identify you as an independent just let us know and we get one delivered. 
  •  If you would like to take advantage of any of the above please email Mike

FREE Business Tax Advice from Churchgates

Next week BID member, Churchgates, located in Langton Place, are hosting a Business and Corporation Tax Focus Week. During the week they are inviting anyone that has any queries concerning the tax affairs of their business to book a complimentary meeting with one of their tax specialists. To find out more and to book your appointment please click on this link;

Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Card

Many of you will be aware that in October 2020 we launched our own Gift Card (see attached image) and invited local business to sign up to accept the card. During the lifetime of our card we have sold cards to the value of over £75K, (both corporate and individual purchases) which has ensured this money is spent in our town centre businesses rather than on gift cards with other organisations that won’t directly benefit our businesses. Currently around 60 BID members can accept the card but I think this scheme could benefit so many more of you and if you are interested in accepting the card then please let me know and I can very quickly pop in set up your card payment system to enable the card to be used to purchase products or services. The only cost to a businesses is that each transaction carries the same charge that you currently pay for a Mastercard debit transaction. If you do currently accept our gift card please let your customers and followers on SM know about this to increase your chances of these gift cards being spent in your business.

Jess Gillam and the London Mozart Players

Saxophone superstar Jess Gillam burst onto the music scene in 2016 as the first saxophonist to reach the final of the BBC Young Musician competition, and she has wowed audiences ever since. Still only 24 years old, Jess was the youngest soloist to perform at the Last Night of the Proms and became the youngest ever presenter on BBC Radio 3 with ‘This Classical Life’.


A free spirit in style and character, Jess is an advocate for the power of music. She is passionate about inspiring and bringing joy to people through music and during lockdown she formed her ‘Virtual Scratch Orchestra’, inviting musicians of any standard to come together to play music virtually with her. Over 2,000 people from around 30 different countries took part across the two projects, aged 2-94, playing a huge range of instruments.


Her debut album was listed in The Times Top 100 albums of 2019 and reached No.1 in the UK Classical chart. She has been the recipient of a Classic BRIT Award, has been nominated for The Times Breakthrough Award and was awarded an M.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2021 for Services to Music.


In July, she brings the sound of the saxophone alongside the London Mozart Players for an evening that balances the best of classical giants Mozart and Haydn with the beautiful baroque trills of Marcello and the lyricism of Glazunov. If you thought the saxophone was just for jazz, think again!


Recognised as the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra, The London Mozart Players is as fresh, dynamic and pioneering as it was in its inaugural concert, some seventy-three years ago. In 1949 the LMP’s audience sought out the works of Mozart and Haydn, but today’s audience expect a wide-ranging repertoire – from baroque through to genre-crossing contemporary music and new commissions – which the LMP is only too delighted to deliver.



Haydn: Symphony No. 44 in E minor (‘Trauer’)

Marcello: Concerto in C minor for soprano saxophone

Glazunov: Concerto in E flat major for alto saxophone Op. 109

Mozart: Symphony No.29 in A major, K.201


Jess Gillam and the London Mozart Players are at The Apex on Monday 4 July at 7.30pm, see or ring 01284 758000 for more information or to book tickets.

Independents Week 4-10 July – Bury Free Press Special Offer

The Bury Free Press are planning an independents celebration feature to run on Friday 1st July. They have created a special rate for our ‘indies’ by offering a small advert in print, and a map, along with an interactive google map which will be posted on their websites and social media for the full week with click throughs to your website to encourage reader engagement.


The special rate for BID members is £50 + vat per insertion, for each of these you just need to provide an image, 100 words and a logo along with a web landing page.


If interested, please make direct contact with Michelle Driver ASAP

Sustainable Business - a proposal for BID Members

Over a number of months I have been in dialogue with local company Save Money Cut Carbon about providing a service to BID members to assist them and their employees in reducing their respective carbon footprints.


The consequence of this work is the attached, which is a very comprehensive document outlining how changing our behaviours can make a positive impact to the environment and also providing cost saving opportunities in regards of products the company provides.


There is more information on this subject on their website - web pages here. If you want any further information then please contact Terry Sutton direct at


COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) Phase Two


Today I have received information from West Suffolk Council regarding some additional supportive funding that is available but not for businesses who have previously received financial support from the Government, via WSC.

Business who fit the below criteria may be eligible to apply



  • Are in the Business rates system
  • Can demonstrate that they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  •  Have not qualified for other COVID-19 rate relief such as the relief given to retail, hospitality, leisure, and childcare nurseries.

To be candid the information is very difficult to understand and what I have received isn’t suitable, in my view, to circulate in full but this can be found at and the application should be made via this website. The funding will be allocated, apparently on a first come first served basis and the scheme closes at the end of August.


2nd Floor, 2 Woolhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1LA   01284 766258