Fringe Box



A New Experience On Guildford’s Streets – ‘Great for Workers, Visitors and Businesses’

Published on: 3 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 3 Mar, 2013
Chrissy Kirsty and Kevin Lorimer

Chrissy Wilcox, Kirstie Gattner and Kevin Lorimer in Friary Street yesterday publicising the new Experience Guildford initiative

Report and photography by Dani Maimone

‘Experience Guildford’ a new initiative, launched at G Live on Friday, took to the streets yesterday (Saturday May 2nd) with the aim of boosting Guildford’s economy.

The blue-capped team got busy on the town centre streets handing out leaflets and providing visitors to Guildford with the opportunity to win £500 to spend in the town encouraging them to ‘Shop Guildford’.

General Manager Amanda Masters said: “This is the start of making the experience of coming to Guildford great for everyone, visitors, workers and businesses alike.

“We have now employed a Night Time Economy Manager, Stuart Cragg and three Blue Cap guide-advisors, important members of the team, who will be out and about in the town centre from Monday. They will be part of the new welcoming face of Guildford.”

Kevin Lorimer, Chair of Experience Guildford, explained, “We now have a five year plan with half a million annual income to spend just on Guildford. There has never been any money before to allow us to do this.

“We will be doing a number of things to help support the town such as marketing the night-time economy and liaising closely with the local police and venues, obtaining their views on how we should go about this.

“We will also focus on parking issues and have just launched a discount card for employees that work in the town centre to use with various targeted offers within local businesses.

“Our website will carry details of what those offers are on a regular basis. We are focusing on business to business first and then will look at rolling it out to the wider public.”

Experience Guildford Privilege card

Stuart Cragg, the new night economy manager and Kirstie Gattner show off the Experience Guildford Privilege card

Friday’s launch represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work, tireless campaigning and spreading the word by a group of volunteer business people in Guildford.

The Experience Guildford team is headed by former Chamber of Commerce executive, Amanda Masters, with Kirstie Gattner as Project Manager.

Both Amanda and Kirstie helped the town become a Business Improvement District (BID) in October last year and are well versed in the needs and requirements of the town and its businesses, especially those in the retail and leisure sectors.

The foundations of the new initiative were laid by a task force also chaired by Kevin Lorimer, the General Manager of the County Club.  With the others he set up ‘Elevate Guildford’, a project designed to promote the BID and give businesses in Guildford a chance to take more control over their futures and the promotion of the town centre.

Kevin Lorimer concluded: “We have been funded by the retail and leisure sectors, so we have to ensure that funds go back into their business.”

The economic downturn had made it clear that something was needed to support the local economy and increase footfall into the area. 91% of those consulted, and who cast votes, voted in favour of Guildford becoming a Business Improvement District.

Over 150 towns across the UK are now BIDs and a further 29 have signed up for a second phase, which, supporters say, is evidence that being a BID does make a difference.

The Chair and Board of Directors of Experience Guildford, formed as a company, continue to work on a voluntary basis. Their enthusiastic approach is intended to support the town and all that already goes on in it, such as the successful Music and Book Festivals, the Farmer’s Market and the Summer Fair, as well as looking at new ideas for new Guildford events.

For further details check the website at

Photos and report by Dani Maimone –

Experience Guildford team line up under the town clock: Back left Chris Kimberley, Will Grant, Peter Lambert, Stuart Cragg Front left Amanda Masters, Kirstie Gattner, Chrissy Wilcox

The blue-capped Experience Guildford team line up under the town clock : Back left Chris Kimberley, will Grant, Peter Lambert, Stuart Cragg Front left: Amanda Masters Kirstie Gattner, Chrissy Wilcox

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