If you shop in St Albans or do business in St Albans, there is a high probability that you have come in contact with St Albans Improvement District (BID). From promoting things to do in St Albans on Valentine’s Day to supporting St Albans community projects, St Albans BID work with local businesses and residents to create a vibrant, thriving, sustainable and resilient St Albans city centre.
St Albans Business Improvement District (BID) will now operate for a second five-year term, following the announcement of the ballot result today with almost 70% of voting levy payers confirming a resounding YES for the BID’s ongoing work.
The BID required the backing of a majority of the levy-payers taking part in the vote to achieve its second term. 66% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID Renewal Ballot by total number of businesses, and 73% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID by Rateable Value.
The ballot process was managed by Civica Electoral Services and results were announced by the Returning Officer today. The BID’s second term will focus on delivering the commitments made in the 22/27 Business Plan with its vision to support a commercial, vibrant, thriving, sustainable and resilient St Albans through a business-led programme.
Executive Manager of St Albans BID, Alison Berneye, says:
“We are thrilled to have secured a second term so we can continue to work together, as a business community to ensure St Albans thrives as a premium destination to live, work and enjoy. The BID makes a measurable difference to our city centre, and we will work tirelessly to build a prosperous future for levy payers, working alongside our partners and communities to maximise opportunities and successes.”
Both a straight majority and a majority based on rateable values were required for the BID to succeed.
BID board member, Richard Latham said:
“We are delighted that St Albans BID has the support of the levy payers and will run for a second term. We will continue to work together to strengthen our local economy and build a resilient and thriving city centre. On behalf of the board, we’d like to thank all those that voted and for the unwavering passion and dedication of the BID team.”
The BID’s area includes St Peter’s St, the High Street, Chequer St and Holywell Hill.
BID board member Keith Newlan, owner of Kings Hill jewellers said:
“St Albans BID has supported our business community during unprecedented times. Post pandemic, St Albans has emerged a most attractive place to live, visit, invest and work, with big brand names and new independents choosing it as a business destination. Footfall that is above the national average will only continue to build on the economic success of the city.”
Businesses will continue to pay a BID levy of 1.8% of their rateable value. Those with rateable values of £12,000 or less will be exempt.
Lead Councillor for Business, Mandy McNeil said;
“A resounding yes from the levy payers proves that we really are stronger together. Thanks to the YES vote over 2.5m will be invested into city centre vibrancy and promoting St Albans.”
Sarah Hassan of local restaurant Bar Meze said:
“When the BID first came in, no one knew what it was or how it was going to benefit St Albans. But 5 years on, it has delivered so much for our city centre and having seen its successes, St Albans would be a different place without it. We voted ‘Yes’ and we are delighted that St Albans BID succeeded in winning a second term.”
A brand new Bingo Brunch experience is coming to Watford’s Barrio
On 5th November, the newly opened Barrio venue will launch its bingo brunch concept, La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch, in Watford. Translating to ‘The beautiful island’, La Isla Bonita Brunch aims to recreate that perfect tropical holiday feeling, with food and cocktails galore, bingo mayhem and 80s music all afternoon-long.
Already a popular party experience at Barrio Shoreditch, the 80s themed musical brunch is scheduled to run every Saturday from 12pm, and will include a two-course brunch, welcome cocktail and a variety of bottomless drinks (prosecco, spiced rum sangria and Sol beer).
Once guests have finished tucking into a menu of delicious burgers, including Queso Libre as a vegetarian option and Saint and Sinner as the vegan burger plus Barrio Churros, the musical bingo commences, brought to life by a captivating host and nostalgic 80s tunes by Barrio’s best DJs. Brunch goers can expect witty bingo calls, group singalongs and impromptu tableside performances. Prizes for winning the brunch also include a very tasty £100 bar tab.
For £35 per person, over-21s can enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless drinks and then eat, bingo and party until 5pm.
Those interested can book the first La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch at Barrio Watford for a special launch price of £25 (valid for 5th and 12th Nov brunch dates).
More about Barrio Watford
On 20th October 2022, Barrio Familia opened its first out-of-London venue in Watford, bringing Latin-inspired cocktails, authentic Mexican eats, a killer happy hour offering, live entertainment and DJs, plus an immersive 80s Bingo Bottomless Brunch.
Following the announcement of the group’s flagship site, and world’s largest tequila bar, in Covent Garden which is set to launch in early November, Barrio Familia has opened Watford’s first Tequila bar this month.
Bringing the spirit of the Latin Quarter into Watford, the new venue will have space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a brand new, freshly crafted cocktail menu, delicious Mexican inspired food creations, including their signature tacos, and famous Latino party vibes.
The outside terrace is also being turned into Barrio’s popular tropical yard, offering the perfect space for another 80 guests to gather with like-minded ‘amigos’ and sip cocktails, enjoy a meal and experience a fiesta like never before.
Barrio Familia was acquired by Nightcap in November 2021 and has since gone from strength to strength. New venues; Barrio Watford and Barrio Covent Garden will add to their growing portfolio of sites in Shoreditch, Soho, Angel, and Brixton. After opening the first Barrio site in 2007, the group’s vision was to have a Barrio in every big party neighborhood in the UK and Watford will play a huge role in that exciting expansion.
Each of the Barrio Bars sites offer a full-colour, full-flavour experience, and of course, plenty of Tequila. The group plans to open seven days a week and be the perfect new spot in Watford for all occasions, from lunches and daytime drinks to brunches and late night partying.
Jim Robertson, Managing Director of Barrio Familia, commented:
“We are incredibly excited to be taking our Latino party outside of London for the first time. This is a fantastic venue and we can’t wait to welcome the residents of Watford into the Barrio familia and bring the party! I believe Barrio will be a fantastic addition to Watford High Street that will suit all types of occasions and bring a feel good bar that welcomes everyone. We have some amazing things planned for Barrio Watford, so watch this space and get ready for the biggest fiesta in town!”
Air Aesthetics & Wellness opens in Christopher Place St Albans
Air Aesthetics & Wellness is a brand new, state-of-the-art clinic in St Albans’ Christopher Place that’s just been launched by Dr Claire Oliver. It promises to bring a touch of ‘Harley Street to Hertfordshire’ with its doctor-led, FDA-cleared treatments that not only help with skin health and rejuvenation from the inside out but also collagen banking and even guaranteed fat loss. Air Aesthetics & Wellness strap-line is: “Still You, but on a really good day.”
What does ‘Still You, but on a really good day’ mean?
Air Aesthetics & Wellness prides itself on its holistic, ethical, and natural results approach to aesthetics and wellness. They strive for beauty and confidence from the inside out and help clients to be the best version of themselves through a 360-degree approach encompassing advanced clinical skincare and rejuvenation, clinical facials, beauty treatments, diet and nutrition, and – just as important – exercise. In short, it’s their aim to turn back time, making you a fresher version of your best self.
The luxury clinic offers pioneering, FDA-approved aesthetic treatments that are not only doctor-led, but that deliver proven and safe results without the need for invasive surgery and downtime. Alongside the treatments, there is a dedicated Wellness Clinic offering advice on nutrition, functional medicine, Menopause/HRT, and intimate female treatments associated with ageing.
Dr Oliver and her team have worked hard for over a decade in Henley in Arden and Birmingham and have won many major awards including ‘Best Clinic – Midlands and Wales’ in the 2021 Aesthetics Awards. They are hopeful that St Albans will be equally well received.
Air Aesthetics is doctor-led. What does that actually mean?
It means they can offer the best, advanced skin rejuvenation treatments available – and you can be safe in the knowledge that you are being treated by a highly trained doctor. Dr Claire Oliver (pictured) is both Medical Director (GDC 70918), and founder, and still leads the clinic. Claire has over 20 years’ experience as an aesthetics practitioner and has dedicated her professional career to the study of skin health and ageing. She remains passionate that healthy skin really is at the heart of looking good, feeling great and being confident in your own skin.
Dr Oliver is supported in St Albans by Dr Zartash Badar, as well as a team of highly skilled, medical aestheticians – three of whom have been employed from the local St Albans area.
What brings you to St Albans?
“I’m extremely excited about launching our clinic in St Albans. We’ve invested over £750,000 in the clinic and will bring Harley Street standards to Hertfordshire. Our mission, at Air, is to make it much easier for clients in St Albans to access doctor-led, 360-degree skin rejuvenation and fat loss solutions in a beautiful clinic environment – without the need to trek into central London,” said Dr Oliver.
What has surprised you most about St Albans?
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the welcome we’ve already received in St Albans: from our neighbours in Christopher Place to residents dropping in, saying hello and stopping to speak. We are keen to partner or work collaboratively with local businesses to create interesting events enhancing the experience St Albans offers – so we’d welcome people to drop by and speak to us,” added Dr Oliver.
How can people find out more about Air Aesthetics & Wellness or book a consultation?
The Almere Milton Keynes launches Neighbourhood Hero initiative
‘All about the community’, The Almere prides themselves on making living easy for their residents. With residents set to move this month, the exciting new community boasts co-working, communal and event spaces within the building.
The ground floor ‘Gathering Place’ is bookable to the local community and to residents, whilst upstairs on the 11th floor sits an amenity space for residents, where part will be for co-working, roof terraces to hang out, barbeques and yoga classes. Additionally, there will also be a fitted kitchen and dining area which can be closed off for a private dining experience.
The Almere Neighbourhood Hero initiative
With community at its heart, The Almere aims to build relationships and work collaboratively with local businesses to guide residents to the best spots and products in town. The Almere’s new Neighbourhood Hero initiative has handpicked local, and predominantly independent businesses to connect residents with the true value of living in Milton Keynes, highlighting all that there is to offer.
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic having had such an impact on small, independent businesses it’s key to get people back out there and supporting locally. The Neighbourhood Hero initiative is a fantastic example of this, helping businesses to thrive and regain their position within the economy. Current Heroes include Bogota Coffee Co; DeRoka; Fuuudgelife; Suds; Sweat Studios; Doorstep Cocktails; Mollys Pantry; Pup Club; Headonist Hair and Beauty; and Moxy Hotel.
Benefits of the Almere led scheme include:
- Feature on The Almere website, with regular spotlights and tags on social media channels
- Exposure to over 600+ residents, and the ability to send offers and deals to them, without incurring any marketing costs
- Welcomed as a core part of the community, allowing the businesses to use the communal spaces to hold pop-up events for residents and the local community
- Include collateral in the ‘move in packs’ for new residents, for free
- Invited to all community events at The Almere, and work together on collaborative event activations
Community Manager, Holly Birmingham explains, “Community is so important to us at The Almere – it is all about meaningful connections both within our own four walls and the wider neighbourhood. At The Almere, we aren’t just a building, we are a new community in the heart of Milton Keynes. We want to support the brilliant local businesses around us, create lasting relationships and of course, show our residents the best our town has to offer.”
The new scheme offers an exciting experience for local businesses to work on an exclusive basis with the upcoming, Milton Keynes hotspot, offer discounts to residents and in turn help show the rest of the UK what Milton Keynes has to offer!
About The Almere
A pioneering new rental community for Milton Keynes, The Almere, is a collection of 294 rental apartments built across two buildings with neighbourhood and outstanding service experience at its core.