Online marketing platform Virtual High Street launched in Bury St Edmunds

The launch of the Virtual High Street at Midgar Coffee, in St John's Street, from left to right:  Mark Cordell, CEO Our Bury St Edmunds; Daisy Heighes, project manager of the Virtual High Street; Stuart Hansford, owner of Midgar Coffee and participating business; Maria Broadbent, chair Our Bury St Edmunds; Ellis Heighes, founder of Queue Technology and Virtual High Street. Photo: OurBuryStEdmunds.

Dozens of Bury St Edmunds businesses are signing up to a new online marketing platform which has been officially launched in the town this week. 

The Virtual High Street will offer more opportunities to engage with customers with the digital tools to succeed online, at no cost to the business.  

The Bury St Edmunds Virtual High Street has been developed by award-winning tech firm Queue Technology, which is also based in the town and its launch in Bury St Edmunds is the initiative of the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds. 

Chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell said: “This is another free service we are offering our businesses to raise awareness about them and create opportunities for income generation in a challenging economic climate.  We are delighted to be working with such an innovative local business on what is a very exciting project for the town.”

The Virtual High Street is already established in a number of Suffolk towns and has generated over half a million pounds for participating businesses. It began as a pilot project in Sudbury during the pandemic, but was so successful that with the support of Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils more towns, including Stowmarket and Hadleigh, came on board. The technology is now operating in other parts of Britain as more councils start to offer the platform to towns in their area.

Ellis Heighes, who founded Queue Technology, said:  “We’ve established the Virtual High Street with councils so far and Our Bury St Edmunds is the first BID to sign up to the platform. It’s easy for both businesses and customers to use and because it’s a website rather than an app there’s no need to download anything. Businesses can build an e-commerce site within the website, allowing them to sell products 24/7 and can link into their own sites as well as their social channels.”

As well as Bury St Edmunds businesses, traders on the twice weekly market will also be able to have a presence on the town’s Virtual High Street.

The platform was officially launched today (Tuesday, November 15) at one of the first Bury St Edmunds businesses to sign up – Midgar Coffee in St Johns Street. 

Owner Stuart Hansord said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds offering us another platform at no extra cost. I have been very impressed with the online presence the site gives us as well as linking to our own website and Facebook and Instagram pages.”

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