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Our Hitchin Town News - July 2020

Our Hitchin Town News - July 2020

The word ‘unprecedented’ has never been used so often by so many people. Over the past 3 months we have all had had to adapt quickly and come to terms with measures that have been imposed on a scale never seen before. We have been doing our upmost to keep you all up to date with the fast-moving changes and announcements by the Government and communicating relevant information on how and when you can access support, guidance, and equipment.

Although this is an incredibly challenging time for our town, I have been impressed by businesses ability to adapt and come up with innovative ways to continue trading over this period.

The Hitchin BID team have been working hard to provide businesses with subsidised PPE, external floor stickers and signage to ease the financial pressures of reopening. We’ve installed 10 outdoor public hand sanitiser stations throughout the town and erected social distancing signage to help customers shop safely. As well as this we are working closely with the Council on reducing traffic by increasing pedestrianisation of the narrower areas of the town.

The recent launch of hitchinbasket.com has been successful in highlighting what the town centre has to offer by allowing customers to search for specific products and services available. We are now working on launching the new ‘Eat Alfresco’ opportunity opening the Market Place up to restaurants and cafes for outdoor dining.

We are staying on top of delivering the BIDs day to day activities with our cardboard and coffee recycling, Street Rangers, floral displays, Information Centre and promotional activities to ensure the town centre is a vibrant, clean, safe and well promoted place for visitors to enjoy and businesses to prosper.
This situation has certainly highlighted the importance of our town centre businesses and community. When this crisis has passed, I’m confident that Hitchin will be stronger and more resilient to future challenges.
If you require any equipment, guidance or assistance from the Hitchin BID team please get in touch.

The Car Agents
The Car Agents celebrated their ten year anniversary recently with a cake-cutting by BID manager Tom Hardy.

Owner Simon Michell said “I was looking forward to celebrating our 10th Anniversary, with a huge party at the dealership, to thank our staff, friends and customers for their support, so a piece of cake became a bit of an anti climax, but the emotion and sense of pride was still there! Having started the business in the 2010 right in the middle of the “Credit Crunch”, navigated through the “Brexit Years”, endured the turbulent Government changes during 2018/19, 2020 looked like being year of some stability, but who would have guessed that Covid 19 was going to affect the whole world and that our nation’s health was going to become the most important part of our survival”.

The Car Agents are also launching a new service within their business which is a 7 Seater Hire Service, to enable families who wish to holiday “Staycation” or visit family this year and next, that need a bigger vehicle just for a week or two, for all that stuff that we need to take with us when camping or touring. 

Floral Displays
We’ve had some great comments about this year’s floral displays, which are looking lovely and situated in various locations around the town.

Chicken George
We’re so pleased to welcome Chicken George to the town!
Their new premises is in Bancroft opposite Maison Blanc, although Chris and the team are already well known in Hitchin due to the Street Food Monthly and FoodFest events, where they always attract a huge following! An excellent addition to the town centre.

Hitchin Basket
HitchinBasket.com, the town’s new business directory website, has seen a huge number of visitors since it went live in June.

We have uploaded the details of over 300 businesses in town but if for some reason yours does not appear, email us for a link.

We also have ‘Find us on Hitchin Basket.com’ vinyls to put in your windows which the rangers will be bringing around in the next few days. Please go on the website and ensure your details are correct. If there are any additions or amendments, email: marketing@hitchinherts.com

Eat Alfresco
Eat Alfresco is a new initiative designed to give the cafes and restaurants in the town centre, an opportunity to operate an outdoor dining area on the Market Place. The square will be divided into 5 areas and businesses will be able to rent an area for a two week period. This initiative is only open to cafes and restaurants and priority will be given to those with no outside space.

We are now taking bookings which will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to apply, please email for a booking form: marketing@hitchinherts.com

Events & Promotions
Although we have had to postpone most of our 2020 events, we are working hard to look at alternative, safe ways to run events and promotions in the near future. If you have any ideas on this, email: marketing@hitchinherts.com

Pedestrianisation
We have been working with Herts County Council, North Herts Council and Highways on reducing through traffic in parts of the town centre to promote social distancing.

We will be closing the High Street from Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm to all traffic from Monday 13th July.

We are working on making Sun Street and Bucklersbury pedestrian and cycles only with the exemption of deliveries and disabled parking. This will be implemented as soon as possible and is being delivered under an Experimental Traffic Order.
It will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure we are providing the right balance between visitors using the town and businesses trading. I have also been in touch with the local MP to investigate fast track ways of closing roads to allow additional outdoor dining in the town.

Benslow Music
Benslow Music need your help.

They need funding to sustain them over the next few months and so preserve the future of an institution that is like no other.
Please donate and give what you can to help them open their doors to you once again. Please visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/KeepMusicAtBenslowAlive to donate and find out how your donation will make a difference.
You can play a part and keep the music alive here. They thank you for your support and all your heartfelt messages.

Shop Safe

We have plenty of equipment available to ensure you and your staff are as safe as possible while trading in the town centre.
The Information Centre is open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4:30pm for you to come and collect reopening packs and extra products, or contact our Rangers who can drop them off. Please call 07540 706832 or email rangers@hitchinherts.com
 

Hand Sanitiser 500ml 70% Alcohol - £5
Outdoor/indoor social distancing floor stickers - £2
Cotton washable facemasks - £25 (pack of 50)
IIR anti droplet 95% filtration facemasks - £35 (Pack of 50)
Anti-bacterial wipes - £3

British Schools Museum


As the British Schools Museum comes out of lockdown, it is embarking on a fundraising programme to bring in much needed funds.

One of the initiatives  is to hold an online Auction of Promises this coming November. Promises will be auctioned off to the highest bidder….eg an hour’s computer training, two hours gardening, a cooking lesson, a car wash etc.

Hitchin holds a unique place in the history of education as it boasts the world’s last remaining purpose-built Monitorial school room. The Grade II* listed building opened in 1837 but the school was founded in 1810, a full 80 years before the Government finally provided free elementary education for all. Teaching was based on Joseph Lancaster’s methods of monitorial teaching much of which is still with us today.

They need your help please - are you able to offer a “promise” that can be auctioned?
If you could, please contact Heather or Michael Baim on either penguinbaim@gmail.com or 07816 665594.
 

Get Involved! To share Hitchin news & events, email details with a link to more information and any imagery to hitchin@localnewsie.co.uk or hashtag your pictures and stories with #Hitchin on social networks so we can locate them!








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