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BID Boosts Christmas Lights with 1000’s of New Decorations

Monday, November 13th, 2017

The Christmas lights in St Albans will be more spectacular than ever this year, with dozens of prominent trees being decorated with thousands of multi-coloured lights.

A total of 36 tall trees that line both sides of St Peter’s Street, stretching from the Town Hall to The Cock pub, will be illuminated by St Albans BID.

The BID is working to improve the Christmas Lights throughout the City Centre during its five year tenure.  This requires major infrastructure improvements to the power and structure network to future-proof the display safely.

Christmas 2017 will see over 10,000 LED multicoloured lights on the trees lining St Peter’s Street to enhance the Council’s decorations in the rest of the City.  The state-of-the-art LED lights will brighten the City Centre until 4 January but use very little energy so are also environmentally sound.

BID Manager Helen Burridge said: “The new lights are fantastic decorations which are going to attract even more visitors to the City Centre over the Christmas period and for years to come.

“Look out for a surprise later in December …the lights are not all that they seem!  In future years, we will be investing a bespoke festive display for the whole City Centre and will make further infrastructure improvements too.”

The light switch on, delivered by St Albans Council, along with the other City Centre lights, will take place on Sunday 26 November.


BID News: November 2017

Friday, November 10th, 2017

As of this week, there are 8 Saturdays left until Christmas… Nutcracker Trails, lights, trees and markets, there’s so much in store for St Albans… Follow @StAlbansBID on Facebook to be kept up to date with what’s on locally and get in touch with the BID office to see how your business and staff can get involved.

Inevitably, though with the C word comes the other headaches … Shopping and Bills… St Albans BID is keen to support #shoplocal and the best way to do that is not leaving your planning and purchasing until the last minute… Shoppers coming into St Albans City centre now will see the beautiful displays of beanies, baubles, books and beard trimmers and can get buying too… They’ll feel organised as well as supporting the local highstreet! Small Business Saturday on 2 December (@SmallBizSatUK) will be a day for celebrating St Albans… The Cathedral Quarter will be in full festive spirit: pre-order festive feasts from local delicatessens, gifts from independent boutiques and boozey cases from local experts. Businesses that #shoplocal benefit one another: for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.

With all this spending, there couldn’t be a better time to announce our latest project to help businesses save money. St Albans BID has agreed terms with Utilitrack to help BID levy payers reduce their utility bills where possible. They offer a free utility cost evaluation service for BID businesses and no fee is charged by Utilitrack to BID levy payers. This service is part of making St Albans a vibrant City for people to live, work and do business. There are over 500 businesses in the BID area and we want to help you survive and thrive. We’ll be sending out more information in the coming weeks to our levy payers but feel free to contact to find out more in the meantime.

BID News: October 2017

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Partnership working will be at the forefront of all projects delivered by St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) and we are delighted to report one of the first, and most visible of these partnerships.  A £20,000 clean-up of the City Centre, wholly funded by the businesses of St Albans City centre, has so far covered around 90,000 sq metres of the city, using specialist equipment, gallons of water over acres of pavement and painted over 100 bollards and benches.

The extensive cleansing work, which is being carried out by specialist contractors Veolia and Murrill, will continue for the rest of October and is in addition to the District and County Councils’ streetscene programme. Clean streets make a real difference to a city centre. People have a greater respect for the public realm and cities often find this reduces the dropping of litter, cigarette butts and gum. The city has never been busier so the BID is keen to ensure that visitor experience is at its best to encourage repeat visits and longer dwell times which will then convert into visitor spend.

We were delighted to see the support for the second St Albans Motor Show in glorious sunshine. Over 5,000 additional visitors came to the city centre to see 16 local car dealerships showing 50 new designs and models. Entertainment included a Drive In Cinema, a 7 foot transformer ‘robot’ dancing his way around the City, Downforce Simulators with arcade games and stunning face-painting for kids of all ages. The following weekend, the BID supported the Street Feastival by providing the hilarious street performers to entertain the 15,000 strong crowd: did you have a whiff of the ‘Fairly Fresh Fish’ or one of the Fondant Fancies’ treats?

The full BID area is being rejuvenated by the BID, helping the City to look its best for the Motor Show, the Holywell Hill showcase, the Food and Drink Festival and the upcoming Christmas period. All of these events have been delivered in partnership or solely by the BID to promote the City, its vibrancy and its shiny clean pavements!

BID News: September 2017

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

The City of St Albans is majestic, historic, vibrant and full of untapped potential…

St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) will use funds raised directly from local businesses to improve all aspects of our beautiful City.  We will upgrade, clean, polish and scrub.  We will invest in St Albans Christmas (and the rest of the year!) to increase retail and hospitality profits, drive the tourism economy and enhance the residents’ merriment too!  We will bring more events, more sparkle and more WOW to St Albans.  The timing couldn’t be better.

St Albans is on the cusp of great things.  We have an International Film Festival, Britain’s oldest pub, our proximity to London and our beautiful parks and green spaces, not to mention our heritage, our boutiques and our high quality dining and drinking establishments.  A museum and gallery of national significance is coming next year, followed by the Abbey’s new visitor centre.

The BID will help to improve productivity and growth across the economy by providing professional support to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, working with the Chamber of Commerce to facilitate more training and staff workshops for businesses in the BID area.   It will work with independents and chains, entrepreneurial start-ups and established businesses, boutiques and bars, and will seek to capitalise on all opportunities to bring additional investment into the city centre.

The BID will invest in St Albans to make sure that this City is a destination of choice: a vibrant and desirable place to live, work and visit.  And we’re only just beginning.

George Street Gin & Jazz 2017

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Anyone for Gin!

Thousands flocked to George Street, St Albans on Friday 6 October 2017 for an evening of music, cocktails and boutique shopping in the second of St Albans BID’s highly successful events programme.

The event was designed to increase footfall to the oft-underexplored street and invite new business to the range of boutiques. In just three hours, over 5,000 visitors descended on George Street to explore, shop, eat and drink!

Visitors enjoyed a unique, intimate setting while listening to live jazz performed on the Headliner Stage. A range of specialist gins were on offer from Dylan’s and Suckerpunch, stuffed with exotic botanicals and spices for everyone to enjoy.

George Street’s bars, boutiques and restaurants all contributed to the event, offering complimentary cocktails, special discounts, tastings and more. Street performers entertained the crowds while copious amounts of glitter was provided by local favourite Glitterbox, all set on a newly laid ‘lawn’ courtesy of Bespoke Flooring.

The ripple effect of the event was extensive and felt in many pubs and bars beyond George Street with several venues reporting that they had sold out of gin by Saturday morning!

Sarah Gillow, a Director on the Board of St Albans BID and owner of Galio Jewellers said, “The retailers and restaurants here have no hesitation in saying that the event was an overwhelming success! We look forward to welcoming the crowds back in the future now that they are agreed that George Street is a destination for quality design and entertainment!”

St Albans Motor Show

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

There’s nothing like a shared love of cars to bring like-minded people together.  So it’s no wonder thousands of petrol-heads attended the St Albans Motor Show for the second year running which saw over 5,000 additional visitors to the City Centre last Sunday.

The event was the perfect way to get up close and personal to some incredible cars and preview the latest releases, or get into the driving seat with some adrenaline-filled races with the Giant Scalextric and simulator.

This early autumn event saw 16 car dealerships showing 50 new designs and models, along with several privately owned supercars, to the City of St Albans.  Kids were entertained at the Drive in Cinema as they settled down to watch a movie befitting the occasion – Pixar’s Cars!

But it’s the wacky one-offs that really make a motor show – and St Albans didn’t disappoint, with a 7 foot transformer ‘robot’, singing mechanics, Downforce Simulators with arcade games sitting alongside bodywork companies s that can enhance and pimp your ride and stunning face-painting for kids of all ages – it had it all!

The Bangor to Banger and Back 2 day event ended its rally at the show by displaying an entourage of fabulous and fun cars, all in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice.

Street traders from within the Bid area embraced the event and with 20 degree sunshine all day long it was the perfect family day out.

BID Appoints New Chair

Monday, October 16th, 2017

St Albans BID Board has appointed a new Chair to direct the delivery of the Business Plan going forward. The Board has introduced a series of sub groups, each focussing on different aspects of the organisation from Christmas Lights to street cleaning allowing for a more streamlined approach to its spending decisions going forward.

Mike Lewis, Head of the Property Dispute Resolution team, of SA Law, will lead At Albans BID as its new Chair.  SA Law is a great ambassador for St Albans and has historically supported many of the cities’ community events.   Following his appointment Mike commented “I am very excited to take on this new role. The BID concept in cities such as Canterbury and Cambridge have been a huge success for businesses and the public. I look forward to working with a diverse group of St Albans business people to make our wonderful thriving City even greater.”

Phil Corrigan, Maltings Centre Manager who has now stepped down as Chair, commented, “It has been a great privilege to take the St Albans BID from inception, through to successful ballot and forming the interim BID Board. I will continue to contribute to the future of the BID as a fully operational Director and look forward to the improvements that the levy will bring to the City.”

The events programme to promote the City is well underway delivered in partnership or solely by the BID.  The BID’s second St Albans Motor Show saw over 5,000 additional visitors to the city centre on a sunny Sunday in September.  George Street Gin and Jazz, which took place on the evening of 6th October, was an overwhelming success with the bars, boutiques and restaurants bursting at the seams for the three hour event.

Helen Burridge of St Albans BID said, “We are now working on events for Christmas. We are kicking off with the launch of the St Albans Nutcracker Trail during October half term.  The Trail itself arrives in November which runs in conjunction with the Christmas Light Switch on and Christmas Market.   In a nut(cracker) shell, the BID has arranged a host of events to get the City in the festive spirit!”

George Street Gin and Jazz

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Experience George Street like never before!

Friday 6th October from 7.30pm to 10.00pm

This is an opportunity to explore and enjoy George Street boutiques, bars and restaurants as you’ve never seen them before.

Opening late as part of the Food and Drink Festival.

  • Street performances
  • Adult Facepainting from The Glitterbox
  • Food and drink tasting
  • Boutiques showcasing the new season collections
  • Hair, nail and beauty demonstrations
  • George Street will even be covered in grass!