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Duke of Edinburgh

Apr 2021

We are deeply saddened at news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with the Royal family at this time.  On behalf of the Board, the members and staff of Stratforward BID.

Photo courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Taken when Prince Philip attended celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1964 to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth

Happy Easter

Apr 2021

Wishing you a fantastic Easter

Enjoy meeting up with friends and family in the great outdoors.

Hope you love this photo as much as us! 



News Update for Businesses on April 1st

Apr 2021

Stratford News Update for Businesses -  April 1st 

The clocks went forward, the sun shone briefly and it was utterly brilliant to behold! It also brought people out and about into the town – perhaps as a sign of things to come. Today, normal weather service has been resumed for Easter (in the traditional way) and we hope that everyone has a good break.

Here’s a round-up of some of the things that will be of interest to our businesses:

  • Government Restart Grants - update
  • Meaningful Change
  • Good to Go - covid safe reassurance
  • Hospice Dragon Boat race
  • Child Exploitation Awareness
  • Business News – Foster Frame
  • Food Festival Applications
  • Sunday Times Best Places to Live
  • Business advice news


Government Restart Grants
Here’s the latest update from SDC on the Restart Grants announced in the Chancellors Budget.
The final guidance was published by BEIS on 22nd March but, as we have mentioned  in the past, SDC are reliant on our software provider Civica to then develop the system to allow us to make the grant payments. Work is in progress.

Meaningful Change
Meaningful Change is a multi-agency campaign aimed at helping to positively change the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Stratford. The campaign aims to raise funds via a number of donation points located within the Town Centre or via the Meaningful Change website. 
Funding that is raised will be distributed between local organisations, focussing financial support to helping to positively change the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Stratford-upon-Avon.
How you can support the campaign?
Meaningful Change is reaching out to local retailers within Stratford-upon-Avon Town Centre to support the campaign by installing a mobile contactless donation device their store; this can be table top or podium device provided by Goodbox or in your window.
If you are not able to commit to this but would like to support Meaningful change in other ways, you can contact Meaningful Change by emailing   More info at



Good to Go: re-opening planning

To reassure customers and check you are covid safe register with the We're Good to Go scheme backed by

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
Apply now. The form will take about 20 minutes to fill in.
Upon successful completion of the application, you will be sent a secure link to download your certificate, mark and a toolkit with practical steps for telling your customers that your business is “Good to Go”.

Apply for We're Good to Go Status here


Hospice Dragon Boat Race
The Shakespeare Hospice has been able to bring back the first of its outdoor fundraisers and hopes the Dragon Boat Race will be something fun for people to look forward to. It could also be a great way to release some of that pent-up energy by getting a team together and getting out on the water. Previous events have been highly competitive and drawn big crowds - and this year’s event on Sunday, September 19, is already getting entries. The date coincides with Stratforward’s Food Festival and as BID members, the Hospice will be working with us so both events add up to a great weekend for Stratford. Details of the whole event are here:

Child Exploitation Awareness
It’s a sad fact that this is necessary, but to increase the awareness of child exploitation (CE) in Warwickshire, WCC, in partnership with Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and the Police and Crime Commissioner, is re-launching the Something’s Not Right campaign with a new partnership website .
The campaign would like to get local businesses, and in particular licensed premises, involved in the campaign. A toolkit has been produced a toolkit and contains social media messages, cover photos, hashtags and GIFs that we would love local businesses to share on their social media platforms next week to show support for child exploitation awareness. 

Your business news - Foster Frame
2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Foster Frame (it’s actually June 2021, but we can’t resist a good story). The business was established by Mr Foster (now deceased) in 1971. Nicky bought the business 20 years ago and has continued as the sole trader.
As lockdown ends, and as they head towards their 50th we’ll raise a glass to toast their longevity.

Please send us your stories about your business. Your stories are part of what makes Stratford the place it is. 

Last week’s Herald also contained news of new businesses opening in town as well. If you haven’t seen the article, it is well worth a read.

2021 Stratford Town Centre Food Festival Applications
Bookings will be open next week for the 2021 Town Centre Food Festival that takes place on 18th and 19th September.  Application forms will be available next week on this website. 

Sunday Times Feature
Stratford-upon-Avon was featured in the Sunday Times best places to live survey!  Admittedly, it did place Stratford in the Retirement category (something new for 2021)!

£1,000 apprenticeship incentives for businesses
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are now being offered a £1,000 incentive plus fully funded apprenticeship training to help businesses reshape their workforce to meet the demands presented by the pandemic. 

Read more about WCC's Warwickshire Apprenticeship Progression Programme

“Roadmap out of lockdown” advice webinars
Following the government announcement of the four-step roadmap, a series of sector-themed webinars have been timed to coincide with the key roadmap dates. Organised by the county and district councils, along with partners such as Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue, more details on the business sessions and dates can be found here.

Also, details on 'Build Back Stronger' webinars focusing on staff needs and welcoming workforces back from homeworking and furlough are detailed here.

Look out for this webinar if you work in personal care sector in Stratford District. Webinar available Weds April 7, 1pm with guidance/support. Experts will be giving advice & taking questions from anyone in the sector looking to safely reopen 12 April.

Government advice & information

Coronavirus updates:
Business Rates Relief Fund for businesses that have not already received business rates relief
Additional Restrictions Grants update 
Restart Grants for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses (available after 6 April)

Brexit updates:
SME Brexit Support Fund is open for applications 
Revised timetable for the introduction of import border controls 
For all Brexit updates

For the latest official business guidance, we recommend you keep a close eye on the following websites:

Bright and early

Mar 2021

Bright and early in sunny Stratford. A wonderful day for making the most of the new freedoms.

We can meet outside as 6 people or 2 households, but still need to stay local. 👍

The theatre will be opening it’s fabulous riverside terrace cafe soon for takeaway!


Things are looking up!

Mar 2021

Six people or two households can now meet outside, in England! Yes! 🙌

Have you done anything differently today with our greater freedom?

What a beautiful blustery day. Spring is everywhere!


Stratford is one of the Best Places to Live in the Midlands!

Mar 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon has been chosen as one of the best places to live in 2021 by The Times newspaper!
'From sports clubs to swan wardens, this half-timbered riverside town has far more to recommend it than simply being the Bard’s home'

'Here’s the rub, as Hamlet almost said. Tourism has defined Stratford-upon-Avon since the theatre impresario David Garrick organised the Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769 and brought (stage)coachloads of the public from London to pay homage to the Bard. Strip away the tourists and this turns out to be a pretty riverside town that is well connected (it has direct trains to Birmingham and London Marylebone) and has been hiding its impeccable family credentials beneath a tacky layer of Shakespeare souvenir tat.

As well as modern executive mansions on Tiddington Road, tree-lined suburbia around Bridgetown Road — with roads named after Shelley, Keats, Bryon and Kipling — and period terraces in Old Town offering a range of family homes, it is the schools here that take top...'


Fresh essential shopping at Rother Market on Fridays

Mar 2021
Feast your eyes on this lovely fresh fruit and veg at Stratford's Friday Market.
There’s a fresh fish stall too!
What’s your favourite purchase from the market?
Essential shopping only at the moment though this changes mid April.

OUT NOW! New Accessible Stratford Guide

Mar 2021

“Inclusion is access for all” and access is more than a ramp...

To see the new accessibility guide to Stratford for those needing extra access please click on the website link below.

The guide was produced by local disability advisor, Elizabeth Dixon, with support from Stratford Town Trust. 

There are headings for many different businesses and organisations with their facilities listed on thewebsite. 

As Covid-19 changes take place the website will be updated.

Currently the Visitor Centre, Shopmobility and many other central venues are closed but things are improving all the time.

Please contact Elizabeth if you, or anyone you know, would like to receive a copy of the printed 'My' Accessible Stratford-upon-Avon guide

Elizabeth Dixon  Accessible Stratford  07850-715782

Shakespeare Week 2021

Mar 2021

Shakespeare Week starts today! An annual celebration of William Shakespeare aimed at primary school children but watched by many others. Now online. Do you have a favourite Shakespeare saying?

See the upbeat introduction broadcast now at 
Hosted by the wonderful Ben Cajee of CBeeBies 

Take a peak around Shakespeare's birthplace and find some interesting facts.

There's a wellbeing work out with a Shakespearean Twist!

Daily events online at 10am and 2pm. Free resources.

All thanks to @shakespearebtrust

#stratforduponavon  #shakespeareweek



Stratford Festivals Fall

Jan 2021

Stratford upon Avon Spring and Summer Festivals Fall

Two of Stratford's favourite festivals are the latest victims of Covid. The Festival of Motoring and the River Festival have both had to be pulled for the second year running because of the pandemic. The news comes just 24 hours after one of the most famous festivals in the world fell on its sword too – Glastonbury, will not happen in 2021 either.

The Festival of Motoring traditionally takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend and is seen by many as the official start of the season in Stratford; attracting car fans from all over the UK. In early July, tens of thousands descend on the town for the award winning River Festival which is regarded as one of the highlights of the town's summer calendar and start of the Summer.

Speaking on behalf of Stratforward BID, organisers of both events, Joseph Baconnet said:

"This has been an incredibly difficult decision which we have not taken lightly. Both events are massively popular with locals and visitors alike and provide a huge economic boost for the town. 

"However, none of us know how long the current lockdown restrictions will be in place or what restrictions there will have to be in the coming months as lockdown eases.  However, it seems irresponsible to plan for events like this that encourage huge numbers of people to gather together against a backdrop of what is currently going on. " 

He added: "Events of this scale take many months to organise and are costly in both monetary and resource terms. A huge number of our members that fund our activities are currently not allowed to operate, so have no income and as a result our income has been drastically affected as well. We cannot afford to risk ploughing money and time into projects that might not be permitted to go ahead. 

"Festival and event organisers have been campaigning nationally for the Government to step in with some sort of insurance safety net to allow planning for events like this to carry on, but this is looking unlikely. We are now at the point of determination for these events so have had no choice but to make this decision."

Although these two events have been cancelled it is hoped that the third major BID event of the year – Stratford Town Centre Food Festival - might still be viable in September.  Stratforward also plans to plough some resources normally used for these cancelled events into activities and campaigns to help Stratford and its businesses get back on their feet as restrictions ease.  

"This is the one silver lining, said Mr Baconnet. "By pulling these two events we can be more flexible with our resources and can create a greater emphasis on marketing and directly supporting Stratford’s town centre businesses.  As things change over the coming months we will work with our members and other stakeholders to ensure town is in the best shape possible to welcome people back.  For our locals, please continue to support local businesses – it is a crucial key to help their survival. For a list of businesses with their opening details and websites go to our website. and "