Thanks to all of you who came and joined in the conversation at our first Open Meeting. About 20 BID members were there, including representatives from; business services, cafes, independent retailers, nationals as well as from Town and District Councils. We outlined progress with the BID Co set up, introduced some of the to-be directors on the BID Board, and shared ideas for BID activity to promote the town and businesses in the run up to Christmas.
What follows is a bit more detail on each point and an opportunity to drop us a line with your thoughts and feedback on the main points. The ideas outlined in the Business Plan just scratch the surface. This Business Improvement District is for the benefit of all its members and our town. You will have tonnes of ideas for ways to improve things. Please share your them via email or have a chat when members of the team pop ’round in the coming weeks.
BID Co set up
We have written the Memorandum and Articles and are getting Saffron Walden BID Ltd registered at Companies House. It is a not-for-profit company, so its one that is limited by guarantee. The Board of Directors for this year mostly include members of the Steering Group who have worked on the BID until now, with a few additions. The full list will be announced very soon when the Company has been formed. All Directors donate their time. They are not paid positions. The Board will meet monthly to begin with. Initially the Members consist of all levy payers with the right to vote at general meetings. Please email us if you’d like more detail on this.
Ideas shared for BID activity for the next few months
- The BID is working closely with the TIC and others on the events planned over the season to encourage residents and visitors to spend time in town and visit our great shops and sites.
- A popular idea was running the Lodges Buses again on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas between the Audley End Estate and the town centre. Building on the success of last year’s events, we discussed running it for an additional day and to look into changing to a more central drop-off location.
- We discussed combining this with a shopping competition to encourage people to spend money in our town. It would be along the lines of the Local Shopping Challenge but with more frequent prize draws and wider publicity on local radio eg, Star FM and other local media. A key component is reaching visitors to Audley End and Miniature Railway before they arrive so they include a visit to Saffron Walden as well. Please email us if you would like to get involved and share ideas.
- We shared the idea that with UDC, we’re looking into better promotion of MIPermit to support businesses and help customers see there is a simple way to pay for parking and extend their stay. Ideas include; giving businesses a tailored info-card to hand out, creating a short video to promote to shoppers via social media, on busy shopping days have people standing in the car park showing drivers how to set it up. Please email us with any ideas to add on this.
- Delivery permission for non-commercial vehicles
- Also with UDC we’re looking into arranging a permit for non-commercial vehicles to be able to use loading bays to drop off and collect goods from your business. Please let us know by email if is something you’d like for your business.
- Featured Business – monthly promotion on the BID website
- On the BID website we have set up a section to promote BID members to each other. Any levy payer can take part. The idea is to increase communication and networking within the BID area. Each Featured Business for a month can promote a special offer, product or service to other BID members and their staff. For September, we have Craft Days, Joseph Barnes Wines and Saffron Walden Printing.com. Please email us if you would like to be the next Featured Business.