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Kindness Rocks

Apr 2021

Can you spot the lovely kindness rocks hidden in shop windows in town?

The love flows on with rocks with  kind messages, hidden in shop windows in town, though the RSC's Kindness Shop in Bell Court's is no longer open.

Check out the photos to see the rocks and pick up a few clues on their locations.  Let us know where you spot them. 😃  And if you need a clue or two just say!

There are 11 rocks to find in total.  

The Kindness Shop was sponsored by Bell Court and Stratford Town Trust.   See their brilliant window display in Bell Court, near Lush, until the end of May.

‘ART WARMING - by the RSC - Creativity and Kindness will get us through this

Join us as we collect stories of kindness and generosity with our local community. We want to remember all the little things that have seen us through a difficult year, and to turn this into a joyful artistic celebration in Stratford town centre. So come and visit artist Saadia Hipkiss, who will transform your message of hope and love into beautifully painted rocks to feature in our Kindness Shop.’

#stratforduponavon #kindnessrocks #kindnessrocksstratford #kindnessrocksproject #whatsonwarwickshire #lovestratforduponavon #thekindnessshop #shakespearesbirthday 








Open! Come on in!

Apr 2021

Open for business! Please come on in and enjoy shopping and hospitality outdoors.

There is a relaxed buoyant atmosphere as people gradually return to town.  All venues are carefully reopening using social distancing measures so we all can feel safe.

Wonderful to see many familiar faces - you've been missed so much. Do Tag us in with #lovestratforduponavon for a share

#shoplocal #lovelocal #lovestratforduponavon


Friday Feeling - Updates

Apr 2021

Friday Updates - And we are on the up! 


Shops, indoor hospitality, indoor leisure and personal care will begin to open from Monday! YES!

And YES this will be the last Friday without the pub!

Most of these businesses in Stratford will be open on Monday and welcoming you back with open arms.  For a list of opening dates click here
Many cafes and restaurants are offering food and drinks in an outdoor setting from Monday and plan to re-open fully from 17 May when indoor activities are once more allowed.  Many cafes will create a picnic hamper if you'd like an amazing picnic with fresh local ingredients. 
Many measures are still in place to help you feel safe. This includes the widening of pavement on Bridge Sstreet and the reintroduced, timed closure of High Street, which has created space for queuing and walking at leisure whilst maintaining social distancing. No one way traffic scheme this time though.
Shops are limiting the people allowed inside, protective screens are still in place on counters, hand sanitisers and floor markers are all still in place.  Businesses have taken great care to create a safe place for you to shop.
The historic markets are also back, trading on Fridays and Saturdays on Rother Market, and on Sundays on Waterside. 

The Arts are Restarting

The RSC introduce Art Warming on Bancroft Gardens 10th - 24th April and in the Kindness Shop in Bell Court 12th - 24th April.
Join the RSC as they collect stories of kindness and generosity with our local community. They want to remember all the little things that have seen us through a difficult year, and to turn this into a joyful artistic celebration in Stratford town centre. So go and visit artist Saadia Hipkiss, who will transform your message of hope and love into beautifully painted rocks to feature in the RSC Kindness Shop in Bell Court.
RSC Tickets for the Christmas production of The Magician's Elephant are also now on sale.
Stratford Playhouse have live performances restarting including Chicken Licken & His Friends 13th to 18th April. This is a live, interactive show with puppets, music and lots of laughter. AT the Play House Courtyard - limited capacity and socially distanced. Running time 20 mins approx
We will update you on other live events in Stratford as we get the details.

Car Parking 

New parking charges are now in place and the Bridgefoot car park is cashless.
As ever you get one free hour of free parking at the Bridgefoot car park - spread the word!

Keep in the know!

Do keep in touch with us by following us on Instagram and Facebook. This is where you will find our most recent information and photos of Stratford.
#supportstratford #shopstratford #lovestratforduponavon #lovelocal @stratforward

Official Covid Advice

From April 12th, Step 2 of the Government's roadmap will begin. 
This means
Non-essential shops will open, including hairdressers and nail salons, libraries and community centres, zoos and theme parks, drive-in cinemas, campsites and holiday cottages.
Indoor gyms will open, but you have to go on your own or with people in your household.
Restaurants, cafés and pubs will be able to serve people sitting at a table outside. You should keep to your household group or bubble.
You can have up to 30 people at a funeral and up to 15 people at a wedding, or an event to remember someone.
The ‘rule of 6’ or two households remains and you must continue to meet outside.
You should still keep 2 metres away from people.
Stay safe - car sharing 
You must not share a car with someone outside your household or bubble unless it is essential. If you do car share remember to follow the latest guidance and: 
Keep windows open for ventilation
Maximise distance between people in the car
Wear a face covering
Clean the car between journeys
It is advised that you get tested twice a week  
If you’re working or spending time with people outside your household, book a regular community test here  
Testing gives you peace of mind and protects vulnerable relatives, and means you don't unwittingly pass on the virus to the staff of the businesses you visit.
To get your regular rapid tests, visit
Stay safe and we all look forward to the next major step out of lockdown on May 17th!
Photo from The RSC 

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.