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The Mall Luton unveils plans for shoppers visiting from next week

Lee Hall

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The Mall Luton - Luton shopping mall

As shopping centres up and down the country prepare to re-open following the government’s announcement that non-essential retail can begin to trade again from next Monday, 15th June, The Mall Luton have unveiled the specific measures being put in place to ensure the safety and comfort of shoppers.

Social distancing restrictions and hygiene precautions are being introduced within the walkways and facilities at The Mall, alongside those planned by centre retailers.

Roy Greening, General Manager at The Mall, Luton commented: “The Mall has remained open to provide access to essential retailers over the past few months. From the outset, the safety and security of shoppers and staff has been our priority. Throughout this period we have been carefully managing the flow of people through our centres in line with government guidelines. As we prepare for increased numbers of visitors with the opening of all our stores, we are implementing enhanced measures to make sure the centre is a safe place to visit.”

The Mall Luton - Luton shopping mall

The Mall Luton is one of the busiest malls in Bedfordshire

The centre has considered each part of the customer’s visit, in advance of the wider opening.

A traffic light system will provide shoppers with a guide on how busy the centre is. Managers at the centre will use footfall technology to manage capacity and instigate green, amber or red alerts.

“Green means the centre is free-flowing, with no queues to enter the centre – a good time to shop,” Roy explained. “Moving to amber means the centre is approaching capacity and visitors need to prepare to queue before being able to come into the centre. Red means the centre has reached capacity and visitors will be required to queue outside until such time that we can safely allow them in.”

The traffic light status will be updated on the centre’s Facebook page facebook.com/themallluton and customers are urged to check there for the most up to date status before they visit.

Nearly all entrances to the centre will be open from 15th June, with each having a separate entrance and exit door to enable social distancing. The Bute Street entrance (by Halifax) will become exit-only, due to space constraints and the entrance to the hotel will remain closed until the venue re-opens.

A one-way system will guide shoppers to turn left when exiting shops and follow the arrow markers on the floor.

Sanitiser stations have been installed throughout the centre for customer use.

An enhanced deep cleaning regime has also been implemented throughout the centre, at key touchpoints, including toilets and baby change facilities.

Lifts in the centre will be restricted to one household group at a time.

Car park chip coins will be cleaned after every use before being placed back into the dispenser machines, and all shoppers will be asked to use contactless payment methods wherever possible for their parking and in stores.

Social distancing tips for shoppers

Roy continued, “We want everyone who chooses to visit The Mall to feel as safe as possible and ask our shoppers to please adhere to the government’s guidance on social distancing to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus,  including of course staying at home should they have symptoms of COVID-19. We would also ask visitors to be polite and respectful to centre and retail staff who have had to adapt very quickly to support and implement these systems and precautions.”

Information on accessibility and visiting the centre will be available on the centre website www.themall.co.uk/luton and via social media channels.

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Local business launch “Brew for a Hero” campaign for NHS & key workers

Lee Hall

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Local business launch “Brew for a Hero” campaign for NHS & key workers

Harpenden based Twist Teas have announced their “Brew for a Hero” campaign is back! Launched to support and boost morale for NHS staff and key workers, the Brew for a Hero” campaign gives people a chance to show their appreciation for all the heroes from all walks of life during the current pandemic. This could be anyone – local postal workers, refuse collectors and cleaners, emergency services and health care staff, teachers and chefs, community groups and volunteers.

Local business launch “Brew for a Hero” campaign for NHS & key workers

You can participate in the “Brew for a Hero” by nominating a NHS or key workers hero you know. Nominate your hero and give them a chance to win one of Twist Teas Rainbow inspired tea caddies. If you know a key worker, that you would like to surprise with a personalised Rainbow Caddy of tea, simply email your nominations to hello@twist-teas.co.uk. Please include a brief reason, as to why they deserve a little treat. Twist Teas will again be tasked with the difficult job of picking winners, to be announced on the 31st of January.

Local business launch “Brew for a Hero” campaign for NHS & key workers

Twist Teas will also be making caddies available to purchase via their website with profits going to NHS Charities. More information about Twist Teas can be found in our interview with founders, mother and daughter duo Nicky Kavanaugh & Claire Ayers.

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Watford businesses to decide on the future of Watford BID

Lee Hall

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Welome to Watford - Watford BID

Watford BID have launched a video highlighting the reasons why they believe they deserve a second 5-year term. Many residents in Watford are aware of Watford BID but not many understand exactly what they do and more importantly, how integral their work is to the success of Watford.

What is a BID and why are they so important?

Essentially, a BID (Business Improvement District) is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a specific area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers. This levy is used to develop projects and provide services which benefit businesses in the local area. This can include:

  • Activities to increase visitors to the area
  • Reducing overall business costs for levy members
  • Marketing and promotion of the area such
  • Lobbying councils/local government
  • Working with local police to reduce anti-social behaviour

There is no limit on what projects or services that can be provided through a Business Improvement District. Some BIDS are more effective at certain tasks than others for a number of reasons but overall, the benefits BIDs offer to the various towns across Beds, Bucks & Herts is immeasurable.

Three reasons for Watford BID to get renewed

We have selected what we believe are the three main reasons why Watford BID should get renewed.

1. Watford BID offers a central point of contact

At a time when the Government don’t know if they are coming or going, having a central point for all information relating to Watford offers residents, visitors and business owners a much-needed level of clarity. Social distancing procedures and safety communication both need harmonisation to keep Watford Town safe.

Watford BID have been extremely informative on Social Media and in the district sharing key information such as this statement on the national lockdown from the Mayor of Watford.

intu Watford outlines how it will keep people safe

Typically a Business Improvement District is within a local authority boundary but in April 2013 government introduced Cross Boundary Business Improvement Districts enabling Business Improvement Districts to operate across local authority boundaries.

2. Watford Restaurants & Bars will need support after the lockdowns end

Promoting Watford’s entertainment venues post-covid is going to need a lot of collaborative support post covid. Individual businesses taking to to social media to posts and update Facebook is not going to tempt the same numbers back to the district’s nightlife venues.

By having one organisation working alongside all the venues to promote Watford as an entertainment destination, visitors will hear one concise message that Watford is open for business.

Watford Bars are going need the support of Watford BID to boost footfall post-covid

3. Think of the benefits for residents and visitors

There have been calls for BIDs across The Three Counties to do more by some levy payers but in fairness, the amount of work involved in some of the projects is not to be underestimated such as launching The Watford Gift Card.

It is also important to understand that alongside promoting what’s on in Watford and things to do in Watford, the organisation is a key source for useful information for those living in and visiting Watford.

Welome to Watford - Watford BID

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Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?

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Could this be a big clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage

Regardless of lockdowns and coronavirus, people want food. Fans of Five Guys could be getting a late Christmas present with a new Five Guys in Stevenage. A recent job post on the Five Guys recruitment page for a General Manager in the Stevenage area has got locals excited about the possible arrival of the much loved American Chain.

Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?

Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?

Spotted by an eagled eyed member of ‘Stevenage Chit Chat‘, the advert for a General Manager drops a few clues at a possible opening of a Five Guys in Stevenage.

Google Treasure Map highlighting a empty unit perfect for a Five Guys in Stevenage

Unit 10 appears empty on Google Maps

Clue No.1 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – The perfect scene

Nothing cements a clue in a mystery more than a location. The recruitment team have placed a X on the spot and that is 51°54’02.4″N 0°12’33.7″W. For all the normal people reading this, that is Unit 10 in Stevenage Leisure Park. This was home to Pizza Hut since late 2002 but this recent Google treasure map shows the unit is currently empty.

Clue No.2 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A job for an ‘accomplice’

Did we mention there is a second job advert for a ‘Assistant Manager? If one job advert was not enough proof, two should be enough to convince you that plans are afoot for a Five Guys in Stevenage.

Clue No.3 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A motive

What more motive do you need than hungry people in Stevenage in need of a good burger? A Five Guys in Stevenage is well overdue. It could even tempt Sir Lewis Hamilton back to Stevenage.

 

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