About Us

What Is A Bid?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are an opportunity for businesses to coordinate investment in their area in a way that improves it as a place to do business.

BIDs are business-led and business-funded not-for-profit organisations working in a defined area, set up by a ballot of businesses.

There are currently more than 250 BIDs operating across the UK, including in Ipswich, Cambridge and Norwich, some of which have been around with support from local businesses for over 10 years. A new BID is also under development in Colchester. BIDs create significant sums of investment across the UK and put it in the hands of locally situated businesses. BIDs’ strong governance structure and income stream also make it easier to attract external and match funding.


  • An opportunity for businesses to make decisions about improvements in their area
  • Giving businesses a strong voice in discussions about the future of their city
  • A robust vehicle for implementing projects
  • 5-year funding stream and staff resourcing for projects that businesses want to run
  • Transparent operations and the opportunity to get involved further in a BID mean that you can be sure about where your money is being spent
  • Strong governance helps to attract external funding in addition to the funding raised through the BID levy



Chelmsford’s image is important for all its businesses. For our retailers and leisure businesses it means more visitors and more spend. For our office and commercial sector it means a more attractive offer for the talented workforce we need. We will work in the following areas to ensure Chelmsford remains seen as Essex’s number one destination for visitors and employees.


  • We will coordinate a marketing strategy that brings together and enhances the efforts of different partners in the city, including:
    • A brand and PR campaign for the city centre to cement Chelmsford as the premier destination in the region. We will ensure positive advertisement through various channels including digital, print, and outdoor media. We will help businesses to present a positive image on social media and do the same for Chelmsford as a whole.
    • A digital strategy for Chelmsford’s online presence, ensuring that key central sites such as Visit Chelmsford include extensive and up to date information, for example on ‘what’s on’
    • Filling existing gaps in printed and digital visitor information and improving the distribution of visitor information in locations across the city, particularly at entrance hubs like car parks and the train station.
    • Running an incentive scheme targeted at employees and residents with exclusive City Centre offers.


When it comes to the operations of the city centre, we want to be careful to ensure that current resources are being used well. We will work with authorities such as the council and the police to monitor outcomes for the city centre and promote ways of improving these. We will be careful to ensure that where we spend money, it is only to add additional services.


Safe & Welcoming
  • We will act as eyes and ears on the street to enhance the police and council efforts to tackle aggressive forms of begging and public realm issues, making sure issues are reported and responses monitored. We also recognise the value of intelligence from the hundreds of businesses in the city centre when it comes to tackling shoplifting or problems with the public realm, so will play a co-ordinating role to ensure intelligence from businesses is shared and that responses are coordinated. For example by running an intelligence-sharing platform such as Facewatch and coordinating responses.
  • We will bolster on-street presence at key times of the year when there are most likely to be new visitors to Chelmsford, for example during key events, and ensure the welcome is a good one. An ambassador/concierge scheme will welcome visitors and also report issues. We will review the need for a more permanent presence going forwards.
  • We have worked with the Council to outline the baseline services, such as cleaning, that they provide for Chelmsford City Centre. We will work with them to ensure these services are effective and, if necessary, we will then provide additional cleaning where required.



We will be a strong body to help support businesses in a number of ways.

  • We will create savings through a joint procurement scheme of common business services
  • We will make sure businesses have a voice in the strategic planning of Chelmsford and on specific issues like:
    • Transport issues like parking pricing strategies and the Park & Ride service
    • Provision of suitable office and commercial space
    • The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Scheme etc.
  • As business rates move towards being retained locally, we will monitor and champion effective spending and will provide support to businesses that need help with appeals
  • We will keep business up to date with a regular newsletter
  • We will provide business seminars and networking events throughout the year and help link businesses with the local community
  • We recognise that for some businesses, retention of staff can be difficult when competing with nearby centres of employment such as London. In addition to consolidating Chelmsford City Centre’s recent renaissance, we will develop employee benefits such as exclusive local offers and social-networking events to help build strong local connections.

Meet The Directors


Neil RidleyBond Street, Company Chairman
Gary RidgeonMarks & Spencer
Nick HallePubwatch / CTZN bar
Sean ManleyToni & Guy
Cllr Dick MaddenChelmsford City Council and Essex County Council
Carley Beck High Chelmer Shopping Centre
Sue PatelThe Meadows
Perminder BirkAnother Level Medispa
Cllr Martin BrackenChelmsford City Council
Graham WyattJames Hallam
Jonathan BetteridgeDebenhams