From Monday 12 April, Watford will once again be open for business as Watford Borough Council, Watford BID and local businesses in the town welcome residents back to shops, restaurants, pubs, gyms and close contact services such as hairdressers and beauty salons.
Published: 07 April 2021
After a three and a half month period of closure, the town centre and Watford’s other diverse shopping and retail areas will be throwing open their doors to the public on Monday 12 April. To support local businesses, a borough-wide campaign ‘Welcome Back Watford’ will showcase all that Watford’s vibrant town centre has to offer and reassuring people about the Covid safety measures in place to protect them.
To help businesses get back up and running after the challenges of three periods of lockdown and restrictions, the campaign will involve:
- Using the £85,636 from the Welcome Back Fund to boost the return to the High Street, which can support a range of initiatives including improving green spaces, providing more outdoor seating areas and deploying Covid safety measures.
- Promoting ‘Shop Local, Shop Watford’ and highlighting that whatever customers are looking for, they can find it locally! From popping into a local bakery for a cake, or buying a quirky gift from an independent shop, to help businesses bounce back.
- A number of initiatives designed to attract people to the town centre, including Food and Drink Week, the return of the wonderful flowers as part of ‘Watford in Bloom’, and the Big Events programme which includes Watford Maze, Big Dance and Big Beach.
- Improvements to the streetscape of key retail areas in Market Street, Queens Road and St Albans Road, as well as the renovation of Watford Market to help improve the ‘look and feel’ of the destinations.
- Supporting the Restart Grants Scheme, where businesses in the non-essential retail sector in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, which are reopening later, will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000.
Tom Dobrashion, Head of Place Shaping at Watford Borough Council said “It’s vital, now more than ever, that we all do what we can to support our local Watford businesses. The past few months have been so difficult. Whether it’s your local grocer, florist or fabric shop, they all need our support so they can survive this crisis, and thrive in the future. Shopping local means money is kept in the local economy – supporting jobs and local families.”
Maria Manion, Chief Executive of Watford BID said “The council and Watford BID continues to invest in the town to ensure the business community survive and thrive into the future. We are fortunate to have a town which provides a great choice and offer for all our residents and for those who work in the town or visiting. The future for our high street is bright so long as we come together as a community and support our businesses, whether it be visiting the town, buying and ordering directly from them, or even simply leaving them a review online and liking their social media pages.”
To ensure that social distancing, face covering and hand-washing guidelines are followed, Covid stewards will continue to offer extra support to residents, visitors and businesses in the town centre and hand sanitising stations will be available. To find out more on Shop Local Shop Watford, please visit visitwatford.com/visit/shop-local/