Year One – Annual Summary Press Statement August 2019


  • £50,000 used on projects to increase footfall and help businesses thrive

Saffron Walden’s town centre has benefited from £49,442 of investment in the past year, exceeding £100 every day.

The cash comes from the town’s businesses which have pulled together to form a Business Improvement District (BID).

The money has been used on initiatives designed to improve and promote the town centre – attracting more visitors and shoppers and helping businesses thrive.

The projects include:

  • Promoting and operating a free ‘Meet & Greet’ service for organised coach trips to the town, helping to encourage footfall to our shops and cafes. So far 10 coach trips have been registered for this service bring at least 400 visitors to the town.
  • Running prize draws (prize £100) based on a £5 spend in a participating shop. Over Christmas and Easter there were 1,839 entries in total with over £9,000 spent across participating shops. An additional £800 of prize money was spent back in town centre businesses.
  • Running a vintage bus service in the run up to Christmas 2018 to attract visitors from Audley End House and Audley End Miniature Railway into town. Over the 5 weekends of operation, 1,258 people were transported to and from the town centre, welcomed by greeters and given a map.
  • Setting up a WhatsApp group for businesses to report crime and anti-social behavior. The BID has partnered with Essex Police and to date 31 businesses have joined to share information. Since July 2019, Essex Police have increased patrols in the town centre and Saffron Walden now has two dedicated officers.
  • Promoting the MiPermit App, making it easier to park without cash and remotely extend stay in the town centre. (Working with North Essex Parking Partnership).
  • Organised an Easter Egg hunt with characters hidden in the windows of 22 participating independent shops. Several businesses reported extra custom as a result of the competition, participants fed back that they found businesses they didn’t know had existed, and the Tourist Information Centre reported a doubling of footfall year-on-year to 13,000.

Jim Brewin, Chairman of Saffron Walden BID, said:

“Saffron Walden’s Business Improvement District is led by businesses, for businesses, and we exist to improve and promote our town centre and make it even better for shoppers, visitors and residents. It’s been a busy first year testing and delivering initiatives on which we can build on in year 2. I’m proud that we have worked with many of our local businesses and partners and carefully invested in the community – be it on initiatives around parking, safety or talking up our excellent local businesses.

“I’m looking forward to year 2 – if we get this right, we can together meet the challenges of the internet and Brexit uncertainty – and our shops, offices and traders will thrive for many years to come.”

For copies of the Annual Summary or you would like to speak to one of the BID team, please email the BID manager Louise at