Saffron Walden Initiative was started in 1999 by four town traders: Isobel Grayson (Grayson & Start Butchers, now Humphreys), Joanne Rowell (SW Antiques Centre), Donna Sharp (SW Directory, now run by Harriet Christodoulides), and Martin Turnbull (Harts). They were deeply concerned about the town’s decline at that time and agreed to work together on a whole range of issues concerning the life of the town. The culmination of much research, meetings, and public feedback events was Striving for Success, Strategic Proposals for Regeneration, a document which eventually led to the Initiative’s 2004 town Healthcheck.
The Initiative has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now run by a steering group of local residents who are passionate about making Saffron Walden a better place for visitors and residents alike.
In 2013, Peter Riding, the Initiative's longstanding Chairman and now Director, received an MBE for his 'services to the community'.
The current Directors, donating their time and energy, are:
- Patrick Hawke-Smith
- Chris Knight
- David Pearl
- Jacqui Portway (Chairman)
- John Ready
- Peter Riding
- Cindy Whife