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Who's open?!

Apr 2020

Good question! Some businesses are managing to stay open and are finding ways to support the community.  Thank you to all those who are.

Stratford upon Avon Support which is a joint initiative between Stratford Town Council and Stratford Town Trust has compiled a website offering help and support for the whole community in Stratford. 

As part of that, there's a list of businesses who are open and offering home deliveries, collections and take aways. The list is regularly being updated to reflect who's open.

You can contact them direct or let us know and we'll ensure that the information is passed on ( ) 

#StaySafe & Please let us know how you get on.


High Street Coronavirus Forum

Apr 2020

Your opportunity to put questions to your local FSB Representatives and Business Improvement Districts

The FSB and Coventry and Warwickshire's BIDs have teamed up to answer questions about support available to businesses in different parts of the county. The BID & FSB representatives will be:

  • Trish Willetts, Coventry BID
  • Stephanie Kerr, BID Leamington
  • Joseph Baconnet, Stratforward
  • Rich Warren, Rugby First
  • Lee Osbourne, Coventry and Warwickshire FSB

For more information and to register please click here:


Rother Street Surface Car Park - Free

Mar 2020

The Town Trust hve announced that all parking charges in Rother Street surface car park have been suspended intil 30th April 2020 to allow people to access local businesses and services at this incredibly difficult time. Visit for more details.

Please be respectful of other drivers and try yo keep your parking to a minimum time.

The Trust thank LPS for suppoting this initiative

Statement by our MP Nadhim Zahawi

Mar 2020

Our MP Nadhim Zahawi has just issued this statement to Stratforward.

"I just wanted all businesses and staff to know that, as your MP and BEIS Minister, my team and I are working flat out to get you the help and support you need as quickly as we can. 

Many of you have already been in touch and I will get back to you as soon as possible. My department, BEIS, and the whole Government are working day and night to safeguard our health and the economy in a rapidly changing environment. 

So please don't panic, stay safe, and look after yourselves. If we band together and support one another, particularly the most vulnerable, we can and will get through this".

Best wishes

Nadhim Zahawi MP
Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon
Minister for Business and Industry

Business Rates Discount 2020/21

Mar 2020

The government has now released further details of the Coronavirus response for the Business Rates  Discount 2020/21. The guidance is aimed at local authorities who will be administering the scheme. However, we would ask that you give Stratford District Council time to digest and enact the scheme. We are led to believe that the advice on grants and loans for affected businesses will be released on the 20th March. 

Essentially, the guidance note states:

For 2020/21 Financial Year a 100% rates discount will apply to:

Properties / occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used: 

a). as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues, 

b). for assembly and leisure; or 

c). as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

(see para 10 in the attached link)

Your business may be made of up of more than one hereditament - which is a physical rated space with a separate NNDR number.

Paragraphs 11 - 15 detail (but not exhaustively) the types of business that would be included in the rates discount.

However, there are a number of business occupiers who are not considered eligible for the rates discounts. These are hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public: 

− Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers) 

− Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies) 

− Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors) 

− Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors) 

− Post office sorting offices 

− Casinos and gambling clubs 

plus hereditaments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

However, all sectors are eligible for other support measures that will be outlined in further detail.

As soon as we have further information we will circulate it to all BID members. 

River Festival 2020 postponed until 2021

Mar 2020

Stratforward BID Limited is sad to announce the cancelling the 2020 River Festival.

Following emergency discussions the BID Board has agreed that the escalating situation with Covid19 means that it is prudent to make the decision now to minimise financial and public health risks.  It will also allow Stratforward staff resources to be switched full time to assisting BID members get through the current crisis and assist with any town post crisis recovery strategy. 

As a member funded business organisation we are acutely aware of the precarious situation the wider business community is now in. We are lobbying Government and MPs directly and through various bodies to urgently alleviate the huge strains being felt by the whole business community. We will keep you in touch with developments as and when we hear things.

We are also keen to receive feedback from member businesses in the town so we can try to keep up with the fast changing situation and target assistance/advice accordingly. Our team are now mostly working from home in accordance with Government advice but are picking up and responding to emails.  Our Town Hosts remain on patrol still at this time. 

In Stratford, announcements of event cancellations and venue closures are coming thick and fast: both the RSC and SBT have shut, a number of the smaller theatres have closed, the excellent Literary Festival taking place in May has been cancelled and both the Shakespeare Birthday and VE Day Celebrations will now not take place. We are aware of a number of shops and hospitality businesses who are deciding to temporarily close and others that are considering this too as an option.

These are not ordinary times. Keep in touch, stay safe, shop wisely and of course carry on washing your hands.

On behalf of the Board and staff of Stratforward.

Joseph Baconnet | BID Director

Explore Spring Feasts

Mar 2020

Something’s brewing at Stratford’s eateries

Food lovers are being invited to explore Stratford’s fantastic food scene with two weeks of special, menus, offers and events as part of the town’s Spring Feasts experience.

Restaurants, cafes and hotels across Stratford will be offering tantalising set meal deals and a host of other offers from March 6 to 21.

Spring Feasts is the second serving of the Stratford Feasts experience, launched for the first-time last year by Stratforward BID. Feasts include enticing fixed-price menus, 2 for 1 offers, and even a free round of drinks!  Cuisines include Classic British, Thai, Turkish, Chinese, Italian and French - there is something to satisfy everyone.  There’s even a Facebook competition with fantastic prizes.

Award winning Tea-room, The Fourteas in Sheep Street, is boasting a selection of delicious offerings, including an indulgent afternoon tea for exceptional discounted value at £12 or £15 with prosecco, and generous discounts on WW2 chocolate boxes or Cream Team Scones for four in a Gas Mask Box! (Customers must book in advance for the Afternoon Tea and quote Feasts).

Arden House is offering a special ‘Home Away from Home’ package for just £125 per room per night which covers accommodation, afternoon tea, gin o’clock, a tasty night cap and a full English breakfast.

Visitors to Zizzi will be treated to a complementary glass of prosecco or garlic bread when they mention ‘Feasts’, available every day along with a two course lunch for £10.95 or three course lunch for £19.95.

Some of the other offers for customers who quote Feasts include as below but there are many more:

  • Newly opened Kungfu – a first drink (wine, beer, soft etc) on the house with every food order, from Monday to Friday
  • Rooftop Restaurant at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre – 2 for 1 cocktails from 6pm daily
  • No 44 Brasserie at The Arden Hotel – two course lunch for £15 Monday-Saturday
  • La Marina Tapas Bar – free dessert and coffee with every 4 tapas
  • Turquoise Kitchen – two courses for £11.45 until 4pm or after 4pm three courses for £15.99
  • Bistro du Vin – two course meal for £15.96 or three-course meal for £19.96, valid anytime Monday to Friday, Saturday until 7pm or Sunday after 6pm. (20% discount)
  • Wildwood – 2 for 1 on mains from Monday to Thursday, 2 for 1 on cocktails Monday to Friday 6- 9pm
  • More Feasts offers at Hoorays, The Riverside Café, Susie’s Cafe Bar

On top of the amazing offers, scores of restaurants are continuing to boast brilliant value set menus including Sorrento, Lambs and Loxleys.

Zenios Loucas, owner of vintage Tea-room The Fourteas - which offers visitors a unique experience where they can step back in time to the 1940s - said: “The Fourteas is an affair that goes far beyond the food and the drinks it involves; as it refers to the glorious days of WW2 and the way we can relate to them directly, or via our parents and grandparents. During the Spring Feasts, and later on in the year, during the Anniversary of the VE Day Celebrations we would like to give people the opportunity to come and create their own story with the people they love while enjoying delicious food and an amazing range of exotic teas. 

Stratforward BID Marketing and Events Manager, Tor Wilkes, said: “In the heart of Stratford we are lucky to have over 140 places to eat and drink!  Whilst Feasts - Stratford’s restaurant fortnight - is running, there are even more reasons to come to Stratford, with so many special set menus and offers, it’s a brilliant time to try somewhere new or retry somewhere you’ve not been for a while.  It’s worth going to our website to check out what’s on offer, as it is constantly being updated.”

For a full list of Feasts menus and offers, visit and check out our Facebook page for details of the competition.

Kungfu in Bell Court
RSC Rooftop Restaurant on Waterside
Turquoise Kitchen on Wood Street
Bistro Du Vin on Rother Street
La Marina Tapas on Bridgefoot
Wildwood Restaurant on Sheep Street
No44 Brassarie in The Arden Hotel on Waterside
Fourteas on Sheep Street

And remember to save the date for the welcome return of Stratford Town Centre Food Festival on September 19 and 20 with over 120 stalls, taste and ale trails and free cookery and drinks demos.

In the Summer, the ever-popular Stratford River Festival will take place on July 4 and 5. Its entertainment line-up will soon be released!  Both events are organised by Stratforward BID on behalf of 420 town centre businesses.

Apply for a stall at Stratford Town Centre Food Festival 2020

Feb 2020

More Food Glorious Food – Stratford Town Centre Food Festival 2020

Cotswold Markets will again be working alongside Stratforward BID to deliver Stratford Town Centre Food Festival 2020 on September 19th and 20th. As one of the UK's leading market operators, and quality stall and marquee hire specialists they have provided a great partnership since 2017. Last year around 44,000 food lovers enjoyed the diverse foods on offer in the food market, on the street of Stratford-upon-Avon.

As in the previous Food Festivals there will be an emphasis on the food and drink products available in and around the local area. 

Contact Cotswold Markets if you would like more information hiring a stall at the festival, email  or call 01608 652 662.

If you are a member of Stratforward BID please check the Food Festival application page as you may be eligible for a discount if you apply before April 30th.

If you would like to apply for a stall now please click here

Training to increase your footfall.

Feb 2020

Stratford High Street Retailers: HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FOOTFALL?!


You are invited to take part in the Warwickshire High Street Retail Course.




Take part in this online course with an introductory face to face meeting.

There are 4 modules with a 1-hour webinar for each which takes place once a fortnight.
There are assignments to complete on your business for each module (1/2 hour to 3hours – as much or as little time as you choose to invest), and all when it suits you.
  • Learn new techniques
  • Meet and learn from other businesses
  • Be inspired - see examples of what’s worked for others
  • Create your own plan with the support of the highly experienced tutor, Alison Read.
No charge for you to attend!  Funded by Warwickshire Towns Network
See the flyer for more info. 
Register by clicking here to go to Eventbrite and for more information
Call Alison with your questions 07941 259 795 
Recommended by Stratforward BID.

318 days to Christmas! And...

Feb 2020

Stratford-upon-Avon’s Victorian Christmas Market is returning for its fourth year which will be extended to four days of festivities.

The award-winning annual event will once again be taking place in Stratford’s town centre with an extra day of festive celebrations. The yuletide market will now take place from Thursday, December 10 until Sunday, December 13, and will see around 300 stalls for Christmas shopping, along with entertainment and a traditional funfair including a carousel.

Over 123,000 visitors are estimated to have flocked to the popular tourist destination for last year’s markets, making it the most successful Victorian Market yet. The popularity for the event has grown year-on-year, with 58,000 visitors attending the first event in 2017.

The market sees traders in traditional Victorian outfits with stalls offering everything from original artwork, handmade decorations and jewellery, and award-winning food and drink.