UPDATE ROYSTON F1RST UPDATE | OCTOBER 2020
NEW Children’s Town Trail and Warm-up Competition is a Big Hit! We are pleased to report that Coronavirus did not stop Royston First from running a summer children’s trail this year. In fact, we upped our game – with a brand new ‘Safari’ theme and a drawing competition to precede it. 8-year-old Phoebe Rogers, from Royston was the winner of the colouring competition, which saw her design become the branding for the Safari Trail. The Trail ran for the whole month of August, rather than on just the one day, to enable social distancing due to Covid. It offered a free, fun and safe activity for children to get involved in with parents and carers. Participants were tasked with finding information about animals who had ‘escaped’ from Shepreth Wildlife Park. The answers were hidden in local shop windows and the children
answered the questions following the trail round the town. Two family tickets to Shepreth Wildlife Park were up for grabs in two different age categories. These were won by 7-year-old, Tom Kelliher, from Royston and 9-year-old, Sophie Saunders, from Loughton. It was very difficult to choose winners and we had amazing pictures from all of the entries, which were then displayed in the library windows.
A selection of entries from the colouring competition
Competition winner, Phoebe’s ‘Cheeky Monkey’ was used to promote the Safari Trail
Keep up-to-date with Royston First’s news and activities Follow us on Facebook @RoystonFirst
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02 Royston First | UPDATE
Christmas plans While Christmas will be different for everyone this year, Royston First have been working hard behind the scenes with Royston Town Council to ensure the town has new lights and decorations. Since February Royston First have been supporting the Council with their project to update and renew the Christmas lights in the town centre. It has been a big project, particularly with the new lighting legislation that now has to be adhered to in every town. While we were hoping to have a formal “switch on” of the new lights, the Covid-19 restrictions have obviously limited the celebrations this year. We will still be running the popular Christmas trail in the town, but it will be run during the whole of the month of December. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on social media @roystonfirst.
Make sure you bring your families into town - there is a fantastic prize to be won! Finally we will be decorating some of the shop windows throughout the town with the amazing artist that we have used for the past few years. These windows always have such positive feedback and will help our town get into the spirit of Christmas!
Additional measures to help Royston ‘thrive and revive’ We are sure that many of you will have taken a trip to the town centre and seen some of the measures that have been put into place since the Coronavirus outbreak. Well, we are pleased to say that plans are underway to continue to encourage shoppers back and instil confidence. We can expect to see the following improvements and additions over the next month: NEW PLANTERS
At the beginning of lockdown, to accommodate the 2-metre social distancing guidelines in the town centre, North Herts District Council (NHDC) widened footways and reduced potential obstacles such as parked cars, through the use of temporary safety barriers.
Back in June, several hand sanitisers were strategically placed in high footfall areas, as part of a Royston First project. These remain located outside and are looked after by; Mica Hardware, Abode Town & Country, No.3 Royston, HC Jewellers and Moreno’s Cafe.
The good news is that these are now set to be upgraded with decorative planters and will replace the large, plastic red and white barriers. This should be happening within the next few weeks.
We are delighted to announce that Royston First has negotiated funding for more of these popular units.
DID YOU KNOW? Royston is to be included in a UK-wide study, to assess the impact COVID-19 has had on our town centres. NHDC are organising and carrying out the pedestrian footfall counts for Royston town centre. The surveys will be taking place over particular days of the week during the months of December and March 2021.
Royston First | UPDATE 03
Market manager corner
craft Look out for ys n stalls on Ro to t e Mark
Despite our lobbying to Morrisons, we were very disappointed and saddened to learn of their decision to close in Royston on 25th October. As a local organisation representing businesses, we are very concerned about the negative impact of the closure and feel that the presence of Morrisons was crucial to local residents and businesses and therefore, the local economy. Morrison’s has not only been an essential service to our community as a supermarket, but it has also attracted footfall to the rest of the town centre, encouraging
customers to visit other small independent businesses in the town. There is obviously a local concern that the site could be changed into offices or flats, following the national trend. We are working closely with NHDC and HCC to find out what the future plans are and will provide an update when possible. Our thoughts now are with the employees.
During November and in the lead up to Christmas there will be a number of craft stalls appearing on the market. Making Dreams Crafting Memories : upcycled furniture and glass creations n Fused Glass Jewels : beautifully crafted and individual jewellery and novelty items n Claire’s handmade drawstring bags, water bottle carriers, tote bags and pencil cases n Crafty Sue : cushions, curtains, draft excluders all made to order n Bow Clip Creations - pretty bows, lanyards, face masks n Michelle’s Fabrics: enormous range of fabrics from fat quarter to good quality jersey cotton n
First initial meeting for Royston Come Together Our last UPDATE in June of this year featured details of our new initiative and the projects we are working on, with the aim of helping to revive our town centre and industrial areas. Our ultimate aim is to bring life back to Royston during COVID-19 - so helping the public to feel confident about coming into town is vital. We have had such a lot of positive feedback about the hand sanitisers we purchased for the town, which has shown Royston is taking the pandemic seriously and doing what we can to help. We have also been told that the adverts featuring the new and varied opening times of businesses in the paper and online were really helpful for people to know when to come into town.
The engagement we have had on our FB page has been incredible, but Royston First were keen to go one step further in improving communications and gather ideas from the local town businesses. After speaking with Laura Whitford at No.3, a group of representatives from a selection of town centre businesses, ‘virtually’ came together with Royston First, for an initial ‘introductory meeting on September 24th. Future plans were discussed, including the sharing of ideas to get shoppers back into town over Christmas, and also setting up a WhatsApp group for better and more timely communication with business owners.
For more information, or to get involved in the Royston Come Together working group, please email us at email@example.com.
04 Royston First | UPDATE
Covid-19 has prevented many activities and events this year, including our AGM that we usually run yearly. Given the constraints of the pandemic, we are unable to present the BID’s current and intended activities and the budget to support them in the usual way. However to try to keep you updated as much as possible, these are some of the activities that we are in the process of planning or have carried out:
Town trails Free-after-3 Updating the Royston First and town website Improving communication with the BID payers through social media, emails, Updates, on line meetings and setting up WhatsApp groups
Business surveys Support for businesses during Covid-19 Liaising with all bodies including the local council to support them with large projects such as the Christmas lights Industrial estate signage
The result of our detailed research published in the business prospectus has shaped the plans for 2020/2021. This includes carrying out proven activities listed above, as well as the cost of supporting businesses during Covid-19. The projected expenditure of £129K (2020/21) includes:
Covid-19 Expenditure Business as usual Industrial area Christmas lights Overheads
20K 38K 21K 12K 38K
HIGH STREET NEWS There is some essential gas pipe work being
carried out at the top of King St and the High Street - by the loading bay - between 30th Oct and 2nd Nov.
Planters will replace the barriers in the High
The above figures give us some surplus to use on additional projects or carry it forward into the following year. At this stage we are also unsure of any further Covid-19 expenditure that will be required.
Street on the 10th Nov, (weather and Covid situation dependent), between 5am and 8am. Please can you try to avoid deliveries during this time or, if difficult, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you visited our website yet? Thanks to our COVID-19 Support Hub for businesses and the Safari Children’s Trail, over a thousand people have visited our new website; www.roystonfirst.com. We’re pleased that you’re finding it useful and hope that it will continue to be a great https://tinyurl.com/nh-now resource for both the general public and business communities. If there is anything you feel that is not included and would be useful, please do get in contact with us at email@example.com.
Royston is in the latest edition of NorthHertsNow explaining how Royston First has supported the town, featuring 2 local businesses.
ROYSTON F1RST c/o Town Hall, Melbourn Street, Royston SG8 7DA 01763 878 242 firstname.lastname@example.org Royston First www.roystonfirst.com