Hitchin; innovative town adapts to succeed
Hitchin is a beautiful historic market town in North Hertfordshire, renowned for its independent shops, cafés and restaurants, vibrant music scene and bustling markets.
With popular attractions such as Hitchin Lavender’s stunning summer displays, the British Schools Museum and the cobbled Market Place with its buildings dating back to the 15th century, it’s easy to see why Hitchin has become a favourite tourist destination.
Throughout lockdown and beyond, The Hitchin Business Improvement District (BID) team has been working hard with local businesses readying the town to welcome back both locals and visitors.
By providing subsidised PPE, external floor stickers and signage, the BID team has eased the financial pressures on local businesses of reopening post lockdown. To help customers shop safely, outdoor hand sanitiser stations have been installed throughout the town along with social distancing signage. Hitchin BID is also working with the Council on reducing traffic by increasing pedestrianisation of the narrower areas of the town.
Launch of hitchinbasket.com
The BID’s new website hitchinbasket.com highlights what the town centre has to offer by allowing customers to search for specific products and services available. All town centre businesses are featured with a profile, opening times and up-to-date information which customers can easily access.
Eat al fresco
The BID’s ‘Eat al fresco’ initiative has been a fantastic success, transforming Hitchin’s Market Place into an outdoor eating area with live music for local cafés and restaurants. It runs for seven days a week 10am-7.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am-9.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays until the end of September.
Tom Hardy, town centre manager, said: “Although this is an incredibly challenging time for Hitchin, I have been impressed by businesses’ ability to adapt and come up with ways to continue trading. This situation has highlighted the importance of our town centre businesses and community. When this crisis has passed, I’m confident that Hitchin will be stronger and more resilient to future challenges.”
Hitchin’s innovation has secured its status as a jewel in Hertfordshire’s crown. It’s a small town with a big heart and is well worth a visit.