Discover King’s Lynn (King’s Lynn BID Ltd) is the Business Improvement District for King’s Lynn Town Centre. Established in 2017, simply put, our role is to champion the town and all that it has to offer. We aim to increase footfall, improve the attractiveness of the town centre and save businesses costs. We are a business-led organisation, paid for by a levy on all businesses within our defined area. Like all BIDs, we run for a term of 5 years, our first term will end on 31 March 2022.
Following the recession of 2009 business leaders grew increasingly concerned about King’s Lynn town centre and how or if it would recover. They recognised a role for businesses to make this happen and started to develop the case for a Business Improvement District for the town. In November 2016, after 9 months of campaigning, business owners in the town centre voted YES for a Business Improvement District (BID) and Discover King’s Lynn was officially established in 2017.
Our role is to help put King’s Lynn on the map as a tourist and retail destination, and to support the businesses within the BID area, giving them a voice.
Our aim is to create a town we can all be proud of, where businesses prosper, our communities thrive, and King’s Lynn is a true destination of choice for visitors.
King’s Lynn is a town of which we can be justly proud. We’re lucky to have a fascinating history stretching back over many centuries. Businesses here want the town to continue to prosper in the future, just as it has for many years previously. To do this we have to look forward. King’s Lynn today combines a fascinating past with an enterprising present.
Over the last 6-9 months we have seen a rapid change in our town centre and the way that people shop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Town Investment Board, we are working with the Council and other partners to secure over £25m of investment from Government to help our town adapt and thrive once more. To guide our thinking and input to this process we developed a vision document, you can read our King’s Lynn 2035 here.
Who we are
Our vision, aims and objectives are delivered by a small team.
Vicky Etheridge is the BID Manager; Vicky’s role is to advise the Board and develop and deliver projects to meet the aims and objectives as set out in the Business Plan. Vicky joined Discover King’s Lynn in 2018 having previously held a variety of roles spanning neighbourhood management, public health, heritage and nature conservation. Download our Business Plan here
You can contact Vicky by email here
Ilaria joined our team as Project Assistant. Ilaria’s role is to help deliver a range of projects, including the monthly Farmer’s Market, seasonal events and initiatives to help improve the attractiveness of the town.
You can contact Ilaria by email here
In 2019, after much research, visits to other BIDs and listening to retailers, the Board decided to invest in two Street Rangers. You will spot them around the town centre in their red jackets. The Rangers’ role is to
- Keep in touch with businesses on a daily basis, picking up issues to be resolved and keeping member businesses informed of what we are doing on their behalf
- promote pride and respect for the town centre, its businesses, environment and visitors
- provide a welcoming face to visitors to the town, providing directions and information
You can contact the Street Rangers via email here
If you need immediate assistance, please use the shopwatch radio scheme, or pop into any retailer and ask them to contact the Street Rangers.
The work of Discover King’s Lynn is overseen by a board of directors. These positions are voluntary and board members come from across the different business sectors in the town, covering both independent and national companies.
Sharon Edwards - Chair
Sharon Edwards is a partner with Mapus-Smith & Lemmon LLP, Chartered Accountants in King’s Lynn.She has worked in King’s Lynn for the last 13 years and wants nothing more than to see King’s Lynn thrive!
Sharon is married with three sons and enjoys going to rock concerts, walking holidays and watching her beloved West Ham!
Janette Crawford - Vice Chair
Janette has lived and worked in King’s Lynn for 17 years and for Wilkos for 22 years. She has a wealth of retail experience having also worked for Asda, Food Giant, Gateway, Habitat and Woolworth in store manager and HR roles.
Her hobbies include everything to do with dogs, road biking, walking/hiking.
Janette believes that Kings Lynn is a town with everything to offer, history, shopping, nightlife, museums, galleries, and wants to help create a thriving town where people will want to visit.
Sarah joined Boots the chemist in 1982 as a sales assistant and progressed through the ranks at various stores to her present position as store manager of the King’s Lynn where she has worked for the past 7 years.
Residing in Spalding with her partner Andy and their cat Abbie they enjoy musical theatre, live music and travelling.
Sarah is passionate about King’s Lynn and helping making it a place of choice to visit and shop.
Liz is owner of Youngsters World toy and nursery store on Norfolk Street which has been trading in King’s Lynn for 24 years. Alongside her partner and fellow board member John, they also own and manage the DIY Centre/ BJ Models on Norfolk Street Trading which has been trading in the town for over 50 years.
Liz wants to get people to see what a great town King’s Lynn is and that they don’t have to travel to the cities for choice and value.
John is owner and manager of the DIY Centre/ BJ Models on Norfolk Street Trading which has been trading in the town for over 50 years. Alongside his partner and fellow board member Liz, they also own and manage Youngsters World toy and nursery store on Norfolk Street which has been trading for 24 years.
John is Kings Lynn born and bred and wants Kings Lynn to be one of the greatest places to live, work and shop in the UK.
Director of GroundWork Gallery, a new space in central King’s Lynn, specialising in contemporary art and environment. Veronica was formerly Head of Education & Research and Deputy Director for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, at the University of East Anglia. She is an active writer and has worked on many international programmes and consultancies in museum and education fields.
Alan Bedwell, has worked for Sainsbury’s for 33 years, starting off as a graduate trainee. He has been a Store Manager for over 20 years.
Alan attended KES in King’s Lynn and went on to university and later did a master’s in business administration. He worked in in Cambridge and London, before returning to Norfolk in 2010 with his partner Ronan to run a B&B and bar/restaurant in Cley-next-the-Sea.
Alan loves Norfolk and is particularly passionate about King’s Lynn’s heritage and will actively promote it to anyone who will listen! When he has any spare time, Alan enjoys spending time on the water, walking the coastal path, and running marathons.
What we do
Here are just a few of the things Discover King’s Lynn has done or is doing to promote our town and support our town centre businesses.
(for more detailed information go to our news section to read our latest levy payer newsletters)
- We work to make King’s Lynn a safe place to visit. We currently keep town centre businesses updated on the latest government guidance and regulations for COVID-19. Over recent months we have distributed COVID related signage, posters and hand sanitiser to businesses. We also ran a series of webinars to help businesses write COVID risk assessments.
- Working with Levy Payers we have installed six defibrillators in the town centre, again to ensure that King’s Lynn is safe for all.
- In 2019 we employed two Street Rangers to become a friendly face for those who need assistance in the town centre. If you’re after directions or tips on what to visit, they can help.
- We organise events where the public benefit from great special offers while businesses see an increase in footfall. Popular annual events include Cocktail Week, Beauty Week and a Christmas Market.
- We run a monthly Farmers’ Market on Saturday Market Place (weather permitting), a real community event attracting visitors and locals alike.
- The beautiful planters that look so lovely throughout the town centre are part of the initiative to make King’s Lynn more attractive for both residents and visitors.
- We organise Business Week, a celebration of the diverse range of high-quality services, skills, expertise, talent and entrepreneurship that exists in the town centre.
- Each year we provide regular training courses and seminars from First Aid to Digital Marketing.
If you have any further questions about Discover King's Lynn, get in touch here. We are here to help.