Newsletter Sign up
Mobile Menu

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 "  



Waterside Markets -Have your say

Jan 2021

Have your say on Markets on Waterside now

Just fill in this short survey or through the SDC planning portal by Wednesday 27th Jan. The Planning Information for the application number can be accessed from here: 20/02682/FUL 

Agents acting for Stratford District Council (SDC) have submitted an application for a revised Change of Use of parts of Bancroft Gardens on Waterside. 

This application covers the Waterside specialist markets that normally take place on Waterside on Sundays from approximately Easter until October and other selected dates - which we know have caused concerns for some BID members over recent years - plus a whole range of other uses.   

The wording on the application is as follows: 

“Proposed partial change of use from public open space to mixed use of public open space, leisure, recreation, market stalls, the sale of crafts, goods, food, refreshments, public information, sale of tickets, advertising, charitable and local group activities and any other associated development.” 

It is not clear what SDC’s strategy is for the wider usage of Bancroft Gardens (or the application area) but the current application is wider than the current permissions in place. 

The BID wants to know your views are ahead of making any official response to SDC. However, time is tight - the plans were not posted publicly until last week and the SDC deadline for responses is NEXT WEDNESDAY (January 27) - so we need your input as quickly as possible. 

We have designed a quick survey (see below) which we hope will help if you are short of time - but feel free to write to us and we will pass your comments on.  Or you could write to the Council direct (see below) if you prefer.  

Before you do the survey – here’s some background …  

In September of last year, the BID Board agreed that it would write formally to SDC requesting that they and Stratford Town Council (STC) - who are jointly responsible for the markets in Stratford - discuss a number of items with the market operator (LSD) that had been repeatedly raised by BID member businesses over an extended time period.  

Amongst these, was a request to regularise the planning situation with use of the Bancroft Basin area (we call it the Dustbowl) for markets (which had been used for some time apparently without the necessary permissions). This was to ensure that the market did not exceed the number of days under permitted development rights (14 days maximum in any year). This request was felt to be fair and equitable as all BID member businesses have to adhere to planning rules. 

The application to regularise the situation should be welcomed as it will bring the markets in line with the situation that businesses find themselves in. However, the planning application submitted does not restrict any usage of stalls or place a limit on the number of stalls of any type. 

The Government is clear that markets form a part of the mix and make up of town centres and that they contribute to the vitality and viability of the whole town centre offer. This planning application purely relates to the markets on Waterside and not the Friday and Saturday markets in the Market Square. Specialist markets have existed on Waterside since 1995 when an 8 week specialist market was set up for the summer.  

The current market contract is not deemed a material planning consideration and therefore any issues surrounding the market contract really cannot be raised in a planning context.  

The Planning Information for the application number can be accessed from here: 20/02682/FUL 

Stratford-on-Avon District Council: Eplanning 

All of the information is contained within the supporting statement here: 

  • The application states that the market will provide for 12 additional stalls 
  • The application states that the increase will support vitality and viability of the market 
  • The market will only operate on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 
  • The application states that the current location is viable proven by the success of the current market. It states that the application will provide further jobs and attract people to the area. 
  • The application states that this will enhance the existing market area. 

Extract of the conclusion from the consultant's report

Notes for BID Members: 

The previous application limited the number of market days on Waterside to 43 days per annum. This application will increase the number of available market days to 52 + Bank Holidays. 

No limits on total stall numbers or the number of food stalls are being proposed as part of the planning application. 

Regardless of what happens with the markets contract - which is due for review in the coming year -  when planning permission is granted those conditions will remain available to all operators in future. 

To take the survey please click here Complete the survey

If you want to lobby the ward councillor then Cllr Fradgely's details are

A Magic Wand... To improve your Business or Start a New One!

Jan 2021

For real, you are invited to attend a Pop Up Business School - and for free!

Suitable if you want to start a new business or if you are an existing business and want inspiration.

Book you space now and improve your 2021.

If you want to start something new, this course could be worth while. Especially if you are facing redundancy, already unemployed or considering a new career?
Always wanted to run your own business but not not known where to start? Or are you an established business wanting inspiration?
This course aims to provide you with skills and knowledge to start/improve your business.
15 - 19 February 2021, 10am - 3pm
• Learn how to start grass-roots businesses doing something you love.
• Topics include marketing, sales, customers, web and social media presence, legal, key steps to success.
Take action NOW!
Further information and booking here
Liam Sibley,
07841 589680
Provided by PopUp Business School
Funded by Stratford-on-Avon District Council Venture House
#SupportSmallBusiness #stratforduponavon #BusinessSchool #warwickshire #BestWarwickshire Venture House

Happy New Year

Jan 2021

Wishing you a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year.

The challenges are significant but we will find a way though.

Thank you for respecting government guidance and staying home with a few exceptions  such as... essential shopping, work and exercise with one other.

#stratforduponavon #lovestratforduponavon


Stratford Canal Basin 2021

Merry Christmas

Dec 2020

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Many thanks for your support for all the businesses in Stratford.


#stratforduponavon #lovestratforduponavon #shopeatbuylocal #warksmas

3 Tiers lead to Tears

Dec 2020

Government Announcement of Tiers leaves Stratford in Tears

Following the Government' s review of Tier designations today, Joe Baconnet, BID Director of Stratforward BID said; “We are disappointed that the tier designation for Warwickshire hasn't changed, although not totally surprised given the increasing number of Covid cases locally and nationally in recent days.  We really feel for all our BID members, not just our hospitality and leisure members who now have to remain closed, but also for our retail and personal care members who are suffering as a result of such a huge part of our town offer having to remain shut in this crucial trading period.

 "It is now vital that the Government sets out a clear plan for the next few months for business, including a greatly enhanced financial support package for hospitality and leisure in particular.  This is not a demand for a handout, but a request that the Government invests in normally viable businesses that will be needed to assist in the economic recovery of the whole country going forward. That investment will pay back in spades as businesses reboot and start adding to the public purse rather than relying on it. 

 "This is particularly important for Stratford where our local economy is so reliant on these sectors.  It is critical that Government financial support comes quickly or we could see the recovery for us taking much longer than in other places. The Government has access to more than £2bn rates relief paid back by large retailers in recent weeks and this money could be used for an immediate support package along the lines of the Bounce Back Better Manifesto being called for across the business community.

"In March 2020, Rishi Sunak, The Chancellor of the Exchequer [18 March 2020], ‘We will support jobs. We will support incomes. We will support businesses. We will help you protect loved ones. We will do whatever it takes.' - the Government needs to act on this pledge now. “

Note to editors:

UKHospitality has already warned that the Tier 3 system will result in 94% of hospitality businesses becoming unviable by March 2021. In Tier 2 it is 75% and even at Tier 1 25%.

We agree that sector specific measures require sector specific support, and the Bounce Back Better Manifesto outlines a range of packages which will provide a vital lifeline for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses alike


The four key asks in the Manifesto are:


Local Authorities lack the administrative and payments infrastructure required to facilitate monthly financial support model proposed by Government for eligible businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3.

We ask Government to provide a one-off ‘Bounce Back’ grant of up to £15,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 across England and Wales with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000. This would support 137,000 businesses with vital funds delivered via local authorities who are equipped to distribute it . This would cost a maximum of £2.05bn. The large national retail chains have repaid their business rates relief to the tune of £2bn already. The money already exists. 


For the furlough scheme investment to date of £47m to be fully effective, business support must reflect short and long term challenges.

While employees receive 80% of their salary through the extension of the furlough scheme, businesses are still paying out for National Insurance, placing greater strain on survival. Some of our businesses are paying out double on NI what their Tier 3 government grants are. This is not sustainable and will result in job losses. 

We ask Government to remove the burden of National Insurance from employers whose staff are on furlough, saving the average business £2,000 per month until 31st March 2021.


The ‘payment holiday’ for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000 earlier this year was an extraordinary and critical measure saving each business up to £25,000, a total tax cut worth over £1bn.

We ask Government to extend the 100% business rates holiday into 2021/2022 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. Every pound saved is a pound to help businesses stay trading and retain staff.


The cut in VAT from 20% to 5% is a major boost for the hospitality sector enabling businesses to pass on a £4.1 billion saving onto consumers. With the vaccine becoming a reality, our Bed and Breakfasts, hotels , restaurants, pubs and bars could be a vital catalyst to local economic recovery.

Research by CGA for UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Inn keeping found support on VAT and business rates are top of hospitality's essential business support needs. Four in 10 affected businesses have stated that the Government needs to extend its VAT cut to remain viable.

We ask the Government to extend the VAT reduction from 1 April 2021 up to and including 31 March 2022.

Small Business This Saturday!

Dec 2020

What is Small Business Saturday?

.....a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages us to 'shop local' and support small businesses in our communities.

Its on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.

On Small Business Saturday, people go out and support all types of small businesses, online and in store. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

The next Small Business Saturday takes place on December 5th, 2020! Lets show the love to local businesses! They are there for us, lets be there for them. 


please sign up! Get listed. Get seen! They are spending money promoting small businesses like you and so many people want to support you. Please sign up and update or add your listing. 

Good people of Stratford

please shop local. :-) 

Welcome Back! Shops, Hair, Beauty and some Leisure

Dec 2020

With the warmest of hearts, we welcome you back!

Stratford's fabulous shops, hair and beauty and even some leisure is reopening today and will be applying measures to be covid safe.

Wonderful to have them open again and a lovely atmosphere in town.

To help maintain social distancing, High Street will again be closed to traffic from 11am to 6pm.  Parking is as per normal, outside of these hours.

All car parks are open. Including the free hours parking at Bridgefoot.

Keep it local this Christmas!