Bury St Edmunds: BID company Bid4Bury seeks members’ views

BUSINESSES in the centre of Bury St Edmunds are being given the chance to discuss how the town’s Business Improvement District organisation can help them during the coming year.

BID company Bid4Bury is holding an informal meeting for member businesses at The Apex on February 22, starting at 6pm, to seek feedback on its performance in the past year and its plans for the future.

Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell, who took up the post a year ago this month, and new chairman Andrew Speed urged businesses to attend.

Mr Cordell said: “When I joined Bid4Bury a year ago, I was aware that the organisation needed to continue to prove its worth to its members.

“One of my first duties in the role was to attend the AGM where representatives from a variety of businesses had a robust discussion about what they felt Bid4Bury should be doing.

“I hope many of those people will come to our meeting this month, hear what we have done, after listening to their views, and take an interest in the plans we have for the future.

“2012 offers all sorts of trading opportunities to different types of businesses with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games likely to be helpful to at least some Bury companies.”

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His comments were echoed by Mr Speed, who is one of a number of board members to join in the last year – all from member businesses and representing different sections of the town’s economy.

Mr Speed said: “We know that trading conditions are still very tough for many and it’s at times like this that a Business Improvement District can really help.

“The contributions from individual businesses allow us to promote and market Bury St Edmunds as a place to shop and work – our new website and phone app ‘ourburystedmunds.com’ is just one example.

“But it’s not just about what we do in the town itself, Bid4Bury gives businesses a voice to talk to the authorities such as St Edmundsbury Borough Council about the issues that concern them including parking charges and business rates.”

Mr Speed has joined Bid4Bury representing the professional and commercial sector of the business community. He is managing director of St Edmundsbury Financial Services Ltd and a director of Sheridans Estate Agents.

Reflecting on the first anniversary of becoming chief executive, Mr Cordell added: “In the last year some member businesses have closed, which is obviously sad to see, but in many cases they have been replaced with new companies coming into town and succeeding.

“We’re very lucky in Bury St Edmunds to have such a diverse mix in our town centre with the big names that make up the arc shopping centre and a wealth of independent retailers as well as an immensely popular market twice a week.

“One of the things that has pleased me most during the last year is that more than half a dozen retail and professional service companies that were under the business rate threshold for compulsory membership of Bid4Bury have signed up as members because they want to be part of what the organisation has to offer.”