Free training snapped up by Bury St Edmunds businesses

Emergency First Aid at Work is one of the free training courses offered by Our Bury St Edmunds BID. Photo: Our Bury St Edmunds BID.

A series of free training courses to assist businesses in Bury St Edmunds town centre is proving so popular that spaces are now booked up months in advance. 

The courses, provided by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds BID, help shops and companies meet their statutory obligations such as first aid, fire marshal and food safety.

One of the most popular courses is Emergency First Aid at Work, which is fully booked up until October. 

Fire Marshal has limited spaces in September.  All businesses that are members of the BID including those who have opted to join voluntarily are able to send staff members on any of the courses on offer.

Our Bury St Edmunds BID business support manager Mike Kirkham oversees the training programme. 

He said: “Some of our courses relate specifically to types of business – for example our food safety and alcohol licensing courses are key for those in the hospitality sector. However, first aid, fire marshal and digital marketing are skills that every business from shops to service providers can benefit from. In fact, if one of our smaller independent businesses sent someone on each of those courses in a year, they would have recouped the cost of their BID payment on that alone.

“Another benefit of booking a course through the BID is that we ensure the courses are always within the town and we try to choose the quieter days of the week to hold them – very frequently a Monday. 

“Therefore, it’s easier for a business to free up a member of staff to attend and they are not having to send that staff member to Ipswich, Cambridge or even as far as Norwich for the course, which for many small businesses is just not practical.”

Since the current BID term began in April 2020 around 1,250 training places have been delivered in partnership with local training providers and venues wherever possible. These include West Suffolk College, Menta, Latitude Training, Greene King and The Farmers Club.

Mr Kirkham added: “Our courses are designed to meet the needs of our member businesses. Recently we were asked about training for awareness about neurodiversity by companies who wanted to enhance the inclusivity of their customer service.  We were able to work with Three Eggs Training to offer a course earlier this year.”

One of the businesses to benefit from the training is Papakis Deli, based in Buttermarket. 

Owner George Protopapas commented: “Food safety, first aid and fire safety are all critical to a small business like mine. As well as saving on the cost of sending someone on these courses I don’t have to research where the training is being held or how to register. I let the BID know that we want to attend and then turn up on the day – it’s been a huge benefit to my business.”

The next courses that still have places available are Fire Marshal on September 10 and Emergency First Aid at Work on October 14. 

Further information is available from Our Bury St Edmunds BID on 01284 766258 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *