Restaurateur looks to build on ‘strong foundations’ of Business group...
The owner of a popular Mediterranean restaurant in Bury St Edmunds has outlined her vision to support the local economy after being elected as Chair of the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds. Maria Broadbent from Casa joined the Board in 2016 and has recently served as Vice-Chair. She succeeds Wil Bryant who has stepped down due to work commitments but remains on the Board.
Maria said: “I am so looking forward to this role and building on the strong foundations already in place. Wil has steered the BID through a difficult two years but the challenges for businesses are not over as Covid is still with us and energy costs are rising. As an organisation we will continue to support member businesses with marketing, training and events and will work with stakeholders to keep the town centre economy as strong as possible.”
Now based on Risbygate Street, Maria started Casa in smaller premises in St Johns Street in 2009 and has grown the business in those years. Before moving into hospitality she had worked in retail for 17 years and also in politics. She added: “We are very fortunate to be in this wonderful place, with a community that really cares about Bury St Edmunds. Our hospitality and retail offering keeps the town vibrant for locals and visitors alike and those strengths mean our professional service businesses also benefit as more people look to live and work here.”
Our Bury St Edmunds Chief Executive, Mark Cordell, commented: “I know that Maria is going to approach her term as Chair with considerable energy and enthusiasm. She is a key figure in our flagship summer event the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival and I’m sure she will do all she can to highlight the town’s reputation as Suffolk’s ‘foodie capital’ while ensuring the BID remains relevant to all its member businesses.
“I’m also very pleased that Wil Bryant is staying on the Board and I thank him for the guidance and leadership over the most challenging two years we’ve experienced since the BID began. I know that he and the other Directors will continue to support Maria as well as the small team of BID staff.”
Since it came into effect in 2010 the BID has provided additional services and support to businesses, beyond those supplied by public authorities. These have included major events and marketing Bury St Edmunds and all it offers. It’s kept the town centre looking good by partnering other agencies to provide more hanging baskets, more litter bins and a free graffiti removal service for its members. It also works closely with the tourism organisation Bury St Edmunds and Beyond to attract more visitors to the town.