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.
St Albans Comedy Extravaganza returns to Verulamium Park in July
St Albans Comedy Garden presented by heycar is set to light up Verulamium Park this summer with a magnificent series of open-air shows from 27-31st July!
Starring legendary BAFTA and Perrier Award winner DYLAN MORAN, the guv’nor himself AL MURRAY, multi-award winning SARA PASCOE, the Last Leg’s ROSIE JONES, Father Ted star ARDAL O’HANLON, lo-fi hero DAVID O’DOHERTY and many more huge names performing at this year’s astounding set of open-air shows.
St Albans Comedy Garden line-up
Stand-up favourites are out in force too with cult poet / comic TIM KEY, German Comedy Ambassador HENNING WEHN, observational master ED BYRNE, Afterlife star KERRY GODLIMAN, Taskmaster champ LOU SANDERS, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner JOHN ROBINS, Netflix star JOEL DOMMETT, the inimitable REGINALD D HUNTER to name a few.
Alongside established names sit some of the brightest breakthrough talent such as the acclaimed CELYA AB, stand-up phenomenon FATIHA EL-GHORRI and the award-winning ESTHER MANITO, fast rising TADIWA MAHLUNGE all making their St Albans debut.
What to expect at St Albans Comedy Garden
Following last summer’s huge sell-out first edition St Albans Comedy Garden returns with another astounding programme of stand-up comedy presented in a fully-seated open-air theatre in the Park’s beautiful Water Meadow.
This year’s comedy extravaganza will once again be brimful with bars serving up a tastemaker selection of craft beers, cocktails and more, plus an array of street-food stalls from the leading lights of the local street food scene.
Tickets are expected to fly as comedy-lovers from St Albans and beyond grab the chance to see these masterfully curated shows, each featuring a host of critically-acclaimed stars guaranteeing a hit of absolute entertainment in the heart of the summer.
The sibling team behind the Comedy Garden, Cass Randolph and Will Briggs of 57 Festivals, can’t wait to return to St Albans. Cass said “We’re thrilled with this year’s line-up and to be back in Verulamium Park, we had such a great first year last summer, the audiences were an absolute riot, far livelier than we had expected! The acts really feed off that kind of energy and in turn give incredible performances.”
Will added “We have some outstanding acts joining us this year, i’m especially looking forward to seeing Dylan Moran headline our opening night and can’t wait to watch stand-out newcomers CELYA AB and FATIHA EL-GHORRI on the big stage.”
This year’s event is partnered with heycar, Chief Commercial Officer Karen Hilton said: “With this year’s Comedy Garden returning to St Albans, it’s shaping up to be an incredible, feel-good summer. We have so much laughter to catch up on after the last few years and I can’t think of a better way to do it. The line-up is truly world-class, and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the incredible Joel Dommett in action. heycar is honoured to be sponsoring this incredible event and we can’t wait to see everyone in St Albans this July!”
St Albans Comedy Garden tickets
Get your tickets now and be part of this year’s magnificent St Albans Comedy Garden! Visit the website to find out more www.stalbanscomedygarden.co.uk
Blake Kuwahara launches Summer 22 eyewear collection
“After two very long years dealing with the pandemic, we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel” says Blake Kuwahara. “This Spring Collection reflects that hopeful optimism with more color and adventurous shapes”. His design ethos of creating eyewear that is at once artful yet wearable is evident in his signature frame-within-a-frame laminated technique and use of contrasting colors as well as his cast bone motif used in his Grey Label Collection.
Also dropping this Summer will be a limited edition of the now iconic CHAMBERS in a custom Rainbow acetate in honor of PRIDE. “I posted a rendering of the CHAMBERS in rainbow colors on Instagram to celebrate and recognize the LGBTQ Community during PRIDE Month, and it got such an overwhelming response that we decided to produce it!”, says Kuwahara.
“With the lifting of COVID-related restrictions and a pent-up demand, retail is continuing gain traction buoyed by consumer optimism,” says Richard Mewha, President of Fade To Grey, the distributing company for Blake Kuwahara Eyewear.
Blake Kuwahara designs are available from leading independent opticians across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
Kuwahara, the founder of the multi-disciplinary design agency, Focus Group West, first gained international acclaim as the creator and designer of the exclusive KATA Eyewear brand. His groundbreaking use of engineering and production techniques together with his highly curated eye reinvented the way eyewear design is approached today.
Kuwahara’s bold experimentation and innovation have gained him a following in the fashion media and has been profiled in Vogue, ELLE, Bazaar, GQ, In Style, and Esquire and has been seen on E!, Access Hollywood, MTV, and CNN. Buzzmagazine voted Kuwahara one of the “100 Coolest People in Los Angeles” and Detour magazine called him, “a gifted talent, blessed with savvy and unmistakable sense of style.”
Kuwahara was recently named by Brilliant Magazine as one of the “100 Most Important People in the Eyewear Industry”. Kuwahara has also collaborated extensively on eyewear collections for John Varvatos, Carolina Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Behnaz Sarapfour, Hanae Mori, and Coach.
A celebrity favorite, Kuwahara’s designs are worn by Lil Nas X, Elton John, QuestLove, Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Robert Downey, Jr., Will Smith, Jeremy Piven, Samuel L. Jackson, Casey Affleck, Slash, and Gwyneth Paltrow among many others.
Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is back for 2022
Returning for the first time since 2019, this year sees the return of Wycombe Swan’s Summer Youth Project. Running since 1993, numerous participants have gone on to have successful careers both on and off stage. Join us on our next adventure! Build confidence, develop skills, have fun, and make long-lasting friendships.
About Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project (SYP)
Over the two-week project, Wycombe Swan comes alive to the sights and sounds of 150 young people doing everything they can to put on a full-scale musical in time for curtain up!
Participants have the option of taking to the stage as a performer, or to make magic happen as part of the Technical Team.
All performances take place on our main stage in the 1,000 seated Wycombe Swan Theatre.
Only those wishing to have a principal/speaking role or be a dance captain need to audition.
Big Fish The Show
This year, the show is BIG FISH. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton.
AUDITIONS (FOR THOSE WISHING TO HAVE A SPEAKING ROLE): Sunday 22 May
DATES: Mon 15 to Sunday 28 August
AGES: 9-21 (performers). 14-21 (technical team)
It is our wish that no young person misses out due to financial constraints. For this reason, we offer bursaries of up to 100% so that anybody can take part.
TO APPLY, AND FOR MORE INFO: Visit https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/summerproject
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday 13 May