The Saffron Walden Healthcheck was undertaken in 2004 by the Saffron Walden Initiative, with funding and advice from the Countryside Agency and practical assistance from Uttlesford District Council (UDC), Saffron Walden Town Council (SWTC), and others.

It was a community-based piece of research, voluntary rather than professional, that aimed to measure the relative wellbeing of the town and the surrounding area that relies on it for goods and services. The purpose of the exercise was two-fold:

  1. To assist the development of a robust community partnership for the town, and

  2. To put together a plan of action, rooted in local circumstances and opinion, to help support a sustainable and successful future for the town and village communities of this area.

Some of the findings supported what had already been identified elsewhere, but there were both differences and new emphases that were specific to Saffron Walden as compared to the wider district. What the Healthcheck produced was a body of evidence to justify specific projects and in some cases new working arrangements.