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Our Hitchin - May 2021
Recognising our Town's Businesses

Although the pandemic has been incredibly challenging for most of us, this situation has certainly highlighted the importance of our town centre community and the businesses within it. To recognise the outstanding achievements made by our business community, we are launching the new ‘H-town Business Awards’ from 1st June. The awards will be open for 8 weeks and the public and businesses will be able to go to: hitchinherts.com/awards and vote for a deserving business. Hitchin’s unique mix of commerce and culture has seen it fare better than most towns, but the pandemic set unprecedented challenges. These awards are designed to raise the profile of the town’s businesses by engaging the Hitchin public in a process of recognising outstanding achievements in the toughest of times. The awards will highlight the many success stories and remind people how fortunate Hitchin is to have such a resilient and vibrant business community. As life slowly returns to normal, these awards are part of a coordinated strategy of initiatives designed to ensure the hard work of the last 12 months is not wasted and that Hitchin bounces back; better than ever.

Reopening the Town Centre
The majority of the town centre businesses reopened on 12th April and we have been busy delivering a wide range of projects in line with our four reopening objectives:
Reminding the public of what Hitchin Town Centre has to offer.
Reassuring the public of the shop safe measures in place.
Encouraging the public back to the town centre.
Promoting Hitchin Town Centre as a whole and its eclectic mix of businesses.
Combining online promotions, printed media and eye-catching posters, banners, videos and publications, we have reached a wide range of Hitchin residents and encouraged them back to the town centre to support our local businesses.
We released the Hitchin Town Centre ‘Welcome Back’ video which had over 6000 views and reached over 9000 people.
We produced the H-Town News, our first newspaper which was delivered to over 15,000 households and is available to view online at: www.hitchinherts.com/news. We put up a range of banners and posters around the town welcoming the public back to the town centre and produced a series of social media campaigns to promote businesses.

Eat Alfresco
From 12th April we opened the Market Place up as an alfresco dining area, this opportunity is exclusivily offered to Hitchin Town Centre businesses. It is running 7 days a week from 10am to 9pm and has been hugely successful at not only allowing businesses to trade outside but also bring a buzz back to the town centre. If you are interested in taking a space in the Market Place, please get in touch with marketing@hitchinherts.com


Night Rangers
Although the Night Rangers were put on hold over the lockdown period, when the pubs and restaurants were open, they played an important part in the safety and security of the towns night-time economy. We will be bringing them back from Friday 21st May and they will be mobile around the town on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm to 3am.

Grafitti Removal
We have identified 137 pieces of graffiti in the town centre which has appeared over the past 12 months. Although the Rangers work hard to remove graffiti, there is a large amount that is hard to get rid of with general cleaning equipment. We have received a grant from NHDC to remove all the graffiti in the town and we are looking at investing in new equipment to ensure we are able to deal with all new graffiti in the future. 

Spring Clean Up
A massive thank you to the local residents that gave up their time in April to help repaint over 50 of the blue bollards in the town centre.

Floral Displays & Bunting
We will be installing floral displays around the town centre this year. These consist of 3 tier planters, hanging baskets and barrier baskets. We have also been awarded a grant funding to install planters in locations around Market Place and High Street to promote social distancing. As well as this, we have erected bunting across various road in the town centre ahead of returning community events.


New to town
We are delighted to be able to welcome some amazing new businesses to the town centre.
Cloud 9 Baby A Nursery retailer selling baby products, gifts and baby clothing, prams, pushchairs, buggies, travel systems, car seats, nursery furniture and cots, baby monitors and sterilisers. At 38-39 Bancroft.

N8 Health Owners Paul and Charlotte McCrossin are keen to help our community live a pain free life through providing safe and gentle Chiropractic care. Principal Chiropractor has over 27 years experience and is passionate about giving people more life in their years!
Smoke Haus & Grill at the bottom of Churchgate sell burgers, grilled and fried chicken and Indian food.
Pear Tree Café A children’s play café in Queen Street serving food and hot drinks.
Alexander Lewis in Bancroft are an independently owned estate agent covering Hitchin and the surrounding areas.

‚ÄčPhone Tech next door to Vinegar Hill, buy, sell and repair mobile phones.
Our Favourite Shop Offering vintage Americana and classic clothing, alongside second-hand records. They will also buy and trade these items. In Arcade Walk.
Coming soon to the town are: Café Ibos, Hitchin Flooring, Jerry’s Brunch, Home Essentials, Little Monkey, The Hearing Practice and Biggie Best.

Child friendly hub
Child-friendly, family focused businesses; Mama Baby Play, MamaBabyBliss, The Signing Rooms and the Good Play Guide are now all together under one roof in Sun Street.
Mama Baby Play offers a play area and cafe designed for babies and toddlers to roam free and explore, allowing parents and carers a space to relax and socialise. It hosts a magical play area, with astro turf grass and wooden trees, an explorer area with climbing equipment to challenge the more adventurous, darkened sensory room with coloured lights, sounds and tactile toys to awaken the senses or to chill out and a café.
Recognising the struggles many new parents face, they have designed the space with adults and little ones in mind, with the opportunity to attend a variety of expert parent and baby classes and workshops delivered through MamaBabyBliss founder, Justina Perry. More information on classes can be found at: www.mamababybliss.com.
New to the area, The Good Play Guide is an independent resource, dedicated to ensuring every child can develop the skills needed to thrive and lead a happy, healthy childhood.
It is also the home of the Good Toy Guide, an expert accreditation service for children’s products, providing trusted expert reviews for parents and gift-givers. www.goodtoyguide.com
Signing Rooms can also be found in the Sun Street hub. It’s a perfect venue for hosting private and public activities, classes, meetings and events. It comprises two, competitively priced rooms to hire, both on a one-off or regular basis. There are baby and children’s classes, after school clubs, adults classes and workshops. Full details of current services, and room hire information can be found at www.signingrooms.co.uk

2021 'Hopeful' Events
We have cautiously set dates for some of the 2021 town centre events. These are not only aimed at attracting footfall to the town centre but focusing on supporting the local businesses to ensure as many of you benefit from these activities as possible. As well as events, we are working on as series of promotions, speciality maps, trails and social media campaigns to ensure the town centre is a vibrant place to visit:
 26th June
H-Town Unlocked
1st—31st July
Hitchin Festival
24th July
Sun Street and Bucklersbury Day
3rd—26th August
Hitchin Beach
7th August
Hermitage Road Day
4th & 5th September
Hitchin FoodFest
25th September
Bancroft Day
9th October Arcade Day
15th & 16th October
French Market
28th October
Hermitage Halloween Trail
20th November
Christmas Tree Light Switch On