Late on Tuesday night, three high profile businesses in St Albans were forced to release statements denying involvement in the launch of a Super High Street above St Albans.
Three of the so called St Albans ‘Big Six’ – Chloe James Lifestyle, Must Wine Bar and Mad Squirrel – have all put out statements denying rumours they plan to create a new St Albans High. The remaining three are expected to make statements in the next 24 hours.
The announcement of a new St Albans High Street has caused enormous uproar across Hertfordshire and beyond, with near universal disbelief from shoppers, local residents and politicians – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unconfirmed plans suggest a monorail system will be constructed to take shoppers from the iconic clock tower to the yet-to-be confirmed new St Albans High Street somewhere above St Albans Cathedral.
Donna Nichol, owner of the popular independent fashion store Chloe James Lifestyle has issued a statement.
“I have absolutely no idea where this has come from and ironically, I cannot see it getting off the ground. We have been welcoming back our customers and have enjoyed the buzz of a busy shop. Why would I want to move my store 30 feet above St Albans?
I have just recently updated the shop window with a new French brand called FRNCH – how will anyone see it? Ignore the rumours and find us where we have been keeping St Albans fashionable for the last ten years.”
Mad Squirrel St Albans have also put out a strong worded statement in response to news of the Super High Street. General Manager James has gone on record and said “Of the 25 beers we have on tap, nothing is that strong”.
“We have been here in St Albans for almost two years and whilst we are accustomed to hearing the occasional bit of nonsense in the taproom, this idea is farcical. Beer and heights don’t mix so we will remain on the ground floor of St Albans in Heritage Close serving the finest beers to St Albans residents.”
Mad Squirrel has quickly established itself as one of the predominant beer destinations in St Albans. With access from the footpath towards the Abbey, it would seem a strange decision from management but when you are around beer all day, anything can happen.
Local resident Isabelle Ringing who we interviewed shopping in St Albans said the idea was nonsense. “St Albans is unique and residents love it the way it is. Why? a monorail? I just can’t get my head around it – we don’t need this nonsense in St Albans.”
Must Wine located on George Street were also quick to release a statement in regards to the rumours. Wine Steward and c0-owner Mike Nuttall explained, “I get the idea – great minds drink alike and the concept of tasting the finest wines with breathtaking views of Hertfordshire is idyllic.
However, the individual who came up with the pour decision of running a monorail above St Albans is clearly on cloud wine.” Must Wine will continue run wine tasting classes on George Street.
As these rumours of a break-away high street continue to spread, the TrendLife team will continue to keep you updated with facts instead of fiction.
Putteridge Bury unveiled as 2022 wedding award winner
The University of Bedfordshire’s stunning Putteridge Bury site has been awarded a national Hitched Wedding Award for 2022, cementing it as one of the finest event venues in the country.
Hitched, a nationally renowned wedding planning website, awards UK businesses such as venues, photographers, organisers and dress shops that have been highly rated and recommended by couples. Professionalism, quality of work, flexibility and customer service are all taken into account when deciding award-winners.
Putteridge Bury and its picturesque parkland is used for a wide variety of events, functions, and conferences, but it is for exceptional weddings that it has received this latest accolade. The only Bedfordshire-based venue to be granted a 2022 Hitched Award, it is evident that couples in the area have a place in their heart for this establishment.
The Grade II listed Elizabethan style manor house stands at the centre of the Estate and the perfect backdrop for every occasion. The breath-taking grounds were designed by foremost architect of the era Edwin L Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll. The west gardens include a beautiful oak tree that was planted by King George V in 1926 and an intimate walled garden – perfect for picture perfect moments.
Andrew Keen, General Manager at Putteridge Bury, is proud of his team’s efforts in earning the award. He said:
“It’s always an absolute pleasure to host weddings here at Putteridge Bury and we work hard to make couples’ days as unforgettable as possible, so it’s great to receive an award which is bested on the reviews and testimonials we have been given from those who have celebrated their special day here.
“The fact that we are the only venue in Bedfordshire to receive a Hitched Wedding Award for 2022 is incredibly exciting and feels like a deserved reward for our wonderful team that has made us stand out from the crowd.
“The recognition helps spur us on to another busy wedding season. After a challenging couple of years, we’re looking forward to hosting a full wedding season this year – it’s full steam ahead to some fantastic weddings and maybe even some more awards.”
Putteridge Bury Address
St Albans Business Improvement District secures second term
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.”
The Swan and The Black Horse both receive award for sustainability
Two local pubs, The Swan in Salford and The Black Horse in Woburn have been officially recognised for their actions to reduce their impact on climate change and help people to make more sustainable choices when eating out by being awarded a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The pubs and their owners Peach Pubs were given the accolade for the steps they have taken to be better businesses and make a difference to people and the planet. To achieve it, they worked with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to complete a detailed assessment of the sustainability of the businesses looking at 10 key areas. These ranged from celebrating local and seasonal and sourcing fish responsibly to treating its people fairly and eliminating food waste.
When combined to provide an overall performance across three key pillars – Sourcing, Society and Environment – Peach and the pubs were given a total Food Made Good Rating of 73%, earning them a Three Star status.
This means that the pubs have been able to show that they are good restaurants with a score of 72% on Sourcing, 74% on Society and 72% on Environment, adding up to a consistently good performance on all three key pillars.
The pubs’ focus on putting local and seasonal produce on their menus was highlighted by a score of 80%, while the way they look after the people who cook in their kitchens and run their bars and restaurant achieved 76%. Their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle were recognised with a 76% score and the chefs’ hard work in eliminating food waste was rewarded with 72%.
Finally, everything the pubs do to support the community, especially during lockdown when they kept their teams busy doing voluntary work, cooking takeaways for local residents as well as preparing and delivering free meals to frontline NHS workers, was singled out with an impressive 84%.
“It’s fantastic news to be given a Three Star Food Made Good rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and doubly significant after what has been a year like no other for the hospitality industry,” says Frazer Sutherland, Peach Partner who looks after the pubs.
“We are hugely proud that what we have been doing to be better businesses and put the planet first have been recognised in this way. It is tremendous encouragement from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and we shall be working with them over the year ahead to be even better and improve our scores in areas we need to. In the meantime, we shall be celebrating this excellent news with our team and with our guests” he says.
Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director of the SRA, said, “By being the first pub business to complete the Food Made Good sustainability rating after the pandemic and additionally achieving Three Stars, Peach truly is demonstrating to its customers, staff and industry colleagues that it is 100% committed to serving up a better food future.”
The Swan Salford Address
2 Wavendon Road
Tel: 01908 281008.
The Black Horse Address
The Black Horse,
1 Bedford Street
Tel: 01525 290210