Four Hertfordshire businesses have secured funding from Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide support to businesses in the retail, tourism, hospitality, and other related sectors most impacted by Covid-19.
The first four to be awarded funding are Auriel Holidays, The Brewery Tap, Creative Juices Brewing Company, and Save Our Standon (Standon Calling Festival).
Between £2,000 and £5,000 in match-funding is available for eligible small and micro-businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts, and cultural sectors. This is part of a £200,000 Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership COVID-19 fund administered by Visit Herts via the Crowdfunder Pay It Platform.
Participating businesses are required to raise money for their project through pledges from their community and loyal customers. Once a business secures its target through the Crowdfunder campaign, successful applicants are able to unlock match-funding from the scheme.
The first four businesses to successfully secure match funding are:
The Brewery Tap: Furneux Pelham, East Hertfordshire
Nestled in the heart of Furneux Pelham, the COVID-19 outbreak saw this small, rural pub innovate and adapt quickly. By redesigning their dining area, they now provide customers with a pop-up shop offering fresh produce from a range of local Hertfordshire suppliers. Further modifications allowed the business to set up a new online grocery order service with delivery for the elderly and those self-isolating.
In addition, two refrigeration units were purchased to help increase the display of produce. Thanks to the success of the pop-up, it continues to operate alongside the pub and restaurant.
Creative Juices Brewing Company: Rickmansworth, Three Rivers Hertfordshire
Located in Rickmansworth, Creative Juices Brewing Company is a small craft brewery producing high-quality beers, which were sold within an on-site taproom. During the lockdown, the team at Creative Juices Brewing worked proactively to set up a brand new website and a free local delivery service for customers.
Post lockdown the taproom space remained unusable due to social distancing constraints and funding from the fund has enabled the business to create an entirely new outside space to operate from instead. This work includes developing a contactless ordering system and a range of modifications to adapt the new outside space for their taproom. Picture hazel hurdle fencing, picnic tables, sun shades, stunning planters, newly planted UK wildflowers, and garland lighting. All part of the ongoing efforts to ensure COVID safety for customers and staff.
Standon Calling Festival: Standon, East Hertfordshire
Launched 15 years ago, Standon Calling is an independent Hertfordshire music festival catering for up to 17,000. The outbreak of COVID-19 meant the Standon Calling 2020 festival had to be postponed until 2021. The team behind Standon Calling responded by innovating their festival offer to provide experiences such as a VIP treehouse and the opportunity for visitors’ faces to be incorporated in future marketing and promotion.
Auriel Holidays: Wheathampstead, St Albans, Hertfordshire
2by2 Holidays have been creating tailor-made wildlife and cultural holidays to Africa, Latin America, and India for nearly 20 years. With the ongoing travel restrictions, they are launching a new travel agency Auriel Holidays to deliver a range of holidays in the UK and Europe. St Albans based Auriel Holidays will initially focus on road trips and rail journeys/tours to Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales. The team is also planning to offer island-hopping trips in Scotland, Ireland, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.
Love Brownies opens new cafe and shop in St Albans
Love Brownies, a Yorkshire Dales-inspired chocolate brownie company, is to open a beautiful café and brownie shop in the heart of St Albans,creating a number of jobs and adding a premium brand to St Albans’ bustling high street.
Established in 2009, Love Brownies is known for its decadent brownies and delicious seasonal menus. Originating in the Yorkshire Dales, the brand has a growing network of brownie shops and cafés, with St Albans being the fifteenth to open in the UK. So what makes Love Brownies so outrageously delicious? It’s no secret: they bake each one individually, by hand, using the best ingredients possible.
The Love Brownies Range
The new Love Brownies shop in St Albans will offer a mouth watering menu of indulgent handmade chocolate brownies in a variety of tempting flavours, magnificent brownie milkshakes (with vegan alternatives), a range of premium, freshly-brewed coffees and the bold flavours of Northern Bloc ice cream.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal said: “The St Albans shop will be our first to open in Hertfordshire and we’re so excited to bring our award-winning brownies and delicious Dales-inspired menu to a brand new audience.
Inside Love Brownies St Albans
The inside of a Love Brownies is a unique blend of a cafe and shop. St Albans residents can pop in to the cafe for a drink and one of their fabulous brownies. Love Brownies merchandise and products can also be purchased in store. These include Love Brownies tea towels, Love Brownies mugs and Love Brownies aprons.
For those on the go, a delicious ‘Dales Kitchen’ breakfast and lunch menu with pastries and jam-packed sandwiches will also be available for St Albans residents.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal also said “The shop is in a fantastic location and we’re anticipating a busy summer! We’re so pleased to be bringing business into the area during a time that has been so difficult for so many and can’t wait to be a part of the St Albans community.”
Where to find Love Brownies in St Albans?
The new Love Brownies café will be located at Number 1, Market Place and will open to the public at 8am on Wednesday 21 July. For more information about Love Brownies or to see a sample menu visit www.lovebrownies.co.uk or follow @lovebrowniesbakery on Facebook and Instagram.
St Albans Comedy Garden brings laughs to Verulamium Park
After a difficult 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions, St Albans residents can look forward to a laugh in the park as St Albans Comedy Garden brings laughs to Verulamium Park.
The all-new St Albans Comedy Garden promises the ultimate remedy this summer with five nights of stupendous stand-up comedy starring DARA O’BRIAIN, SARA PASCOE, ALAN DAVIES, TOM ALLEN, AISLING BEA, ROB BECKETT, JOSH WIDDICOMBE and many more in the glorious surroundings of Verulamium Park.
St Albans Comedy Garden line up
From Wednesday 28th July to Sunday 1st August comedy-lovers from St Albans and beyond will be treated to a dazzling array of stand-up superstars including the multi-award winning SARA PASCOE, the glorious DARA O’BRIAIN, observational wizard JOSH WIDDICOMBE, the stupendous ALAN DAVIES, riotous TOM ALLEN and the magnetic ROB BECKETT to name but a few.
Each show will be bursting with incredible acts featuring the very best names in stand-up like Netflix star PHIL WANG, British Comedy Award winner AISLING BEA, one-liner king MILTON JONES, Taskmaster champ LOU SANDERS, the undisputed queen of ventriloquism NINA CONTI, podcast heroes ED GAMBLE and JOHN ROBINS, stand-up champion REGINALD D HUNTER and the award-winning SINDHU VEE alongside fast-rising breakthrough talent like MAISIE ADAM, SARAH KEYWORTH and DARREN HARRIOT plus many (many!) more – all guaranteeing some much-needed uplifting hilarity for 2021.
This series of magnificent mixed-bill shows will be presented in an open-air theatre set in St Alban’s beautiful Verulamium Park. The comedy extravaganza will be brim full with pop-up bars serving craft beers, summer-styled cocktails and more to wash down tasty morsels from the leading lights of the local street-food scene.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the Comedy Garden has been specially designed to reflect the Government’s Roadmap, with added flexibility should the event need to be adapted to suit current guidelines.
Laughs in Verulamium Park
All shows will take place in a fully-seated open-air theatre with tickets sold in multiples of two, these key features are designed to ensure a smooth transition should social distancing need to be introduced across the event. If necessary the theatre-style seating will be transformed into socially-distanced seating plots and walk-up bars and street-food stalls will be replaced with a deliver-to-seat drink and snack service.
St Albans Comedy Garden tickets
Tickets for some of the shows are already sold out. Tickets for Wednesday 28th July with headline act Josh Widdicombe are sold out. The same applies for the late show on Saturday 31st July headlined by Tom Allen and Sunday’s 3.30pm show headlined by Dara Ó Briain. All other tickets are available at this time. For more info on tickets, click here.
About St Albans Comedy Garden
The team behind the Comedy Garden, 57 Festivals, have already successfully delivered a covid-secure event with their Greenwich Comedy Festival in September 2020.
This new St Albans event is the latest venture from the London-based comedy event company run by sibling-team Will Briggs and Cass Randolph. The pair have spent the last decade building a reputation for delivering meticulous comedy programming in boutique-festival settings.
Starting back in 2009 with the Capital’s critically acclaimed Greenwich Comedy Festival, held annually at the National Maritime Museum, the pair went on to introduce their Comedy Garden event to Bristol in 2011, followed by Brighton in 2019, and they are now incredibly excited to be bringing their winning formula to the cultural heart of Hertfordshire.
Cass say “The live industry has had a tough time of late and so we feel very lucky to have been able to reimagine our events to suit these challenging times, and we’re especially proud to be introducing this new event.”
Will adds: “There’s no doubt that everyone deserves some excellent live entertainment and we can’t wait to bring exactly that to our new St Albans audience. We’re working closely with the local council and our suppliers to make sure we deliver an event that is safe and enjoyable for everyone – and above all very funny!”
This summer’s event is all set to be a rib-tickling remedy to the past year, so get your tickets now and be part of the first-ever St Albans Comedy Garden! Visit the website to find out more www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk
Bedford to get Euros final to make Italians feel more at home
After overcoming Denmark to reach the European final, England and their fans excitement to play Italy in the English home of football may have been dashed. UEFA have decided to move home advantage from England to Italy by demanding the Euros 2020 final takes places at Meadow Lane, Bedford instead of Wembley. Bedford is unofficially referred to a Britain’s ‘little Italy’ thanks to it large Italian population.
Why switch from Wembley to Bedford?
One of the talking points of England’s win over Denmark was the clear advantage England had over the Danes. With over 58,034 of the supporters at the game being England fans compared to the Danes 1,966, UEFA have decided that they want to remove home advantage away from England. According to UEFA’s Fair Play officials Stan Dupp and Fumagalli Enzo, switching the Euro 2020 finals from Wembley to Bedford means Italy can also benefit from playing on home soil at the same time as England.
Can Meadow Lane host 60,000 plus fans?
Absolutely not. But that is not a problem as Bedford High street will be pedestrianised and large screens will be erected all the way down to the embankment.
Ahead of the clash, England fans heading to Bedford have been advised to brush up on their Italian so we have created a ‘Nine step guide to speaking Italian’ below. These are probably the only nine words you will need to know for the game.
Nine steps to speaking Italian