Royston First - Update - Spring 2021

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Together with NHDC, we continue to support Royston businesses during COVID-19 Coronavirus may have radically changed some of our plans recently, but we remain focussed on doing what we can to ensure our town thrives after the pandemic. “Like all the other towns across North Herts and beyond, the pandemic has hit Royston businesses hard. We need to continue to encourage shoppers to shop locally now and in the future, to bring our town centre and industrial areas back to life. The success of these areas is a vital priority for Royston First and NHDC. We are planning a town re-opening campaign as soon as the Covid restrictions are lifted,” says Julia Brooks, co-ordinator for Royston First.

What have we been able to do? EXTRA HAND SANITISERS With the help of funding via NHDC, ten hand sanitisers have now been placed, for all to use, around the town. These can now be found on Church Lane, Kneesworth Street and Melbourn Street, as well as Angel Pavement, Fish Hill and the High Street. We hope that this extra provision will help to give

the community much needed confidence when out and about, particularly when the town re-opens more fully.

DECORATIVE PLANTERS If you have been up the High Street recently, you may have noticed that the red temporary safety barriers have been replaced with attractive green planters. It is hoped that these will continue to help with social distancing and keep everybody safe. They have occasionally been knocked off their stands. If you see this, or have any other feedback, please contact us at They are a temporary measure at the moment to support Covid restrictions.

GRANT AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES We have been sending out communications to our database containing the latest information for businesses, such as available funding grants, and how to access them on the NHDC website - www. We also have a Covid-19 hub on our website with

Attractive green planters have replaced the safety barriers on the High Street

lots more information including downloadable posters and floor stickers. If you are not receiving emails and would like to be on our database please contact us on

FREE ADVERTISING When some shops opened up following the last lockdown we advertised the opening times of all the shops and businesses that were customer-facing in the local paper and on-line. This proved very popular – we had great feedback and it attracted a lot of traffic to the Royston Town website. It was also shared on social media within many local groups.

Keep up-to-date with Royston First’s news and activities Follow us on Facebook @RoystonFirst

Visit our website or scan the QR Code

02 Royston First | UPDATE

Well-timed Royston Reindeer Trail brings family festive fun Royston’s Christmas trail returned this year, much to the delight of local children and their parents and carers. Despite the second lockdown, the town trail was able to go ahead, just in the nick of time – before Royston entered strict Tier 4 restrictions. For three weeks, the ‘Royston Reindeer Trail’ provided a free, family fun-filled activity for children to become ‘Reindeer Rangers’ and seek fifteen of Santa’s missing ‘reindeer’ hiding in shop front windows in the town centre. As well as noting down the location of each reindeer, participants had to answer reindeer-related questions to enter the prize draw - for the chance to win an ‘Ultimate Christmas Experience’. This was donated by local businesses; Bite Around the World, House of Parties, Kelly’s Kitchen, Sleepy Creations and Tentshare. Of the 117 entries, it was 5 year-old, Emily Bischoff, who was selected at random as the competition winner. Mum, Jo Bischoff said, “What a wonderful Christmas surprise and such a great activity that supports local businesses. Thank you!” Royston First ran the competition over an extended three-week period, instead of the usual one-day event in December, to avoid crowding. Julia Brooks, co-ordinator for Royston First, said;

with our popular children’s Christmas trail. It was even more important that we support our local businesses at this very difficult time and we managed to raise £180 for Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire. On behalf of everyone at Royston First, I would like to thank the businesses for their kind contribution, those WELL DONE! businesses who took part in the trail, and of Competition winner, course, all of the children who entered.” 5 year-old, Emily

Bischoff Look out for our next trail at Easter – where children will be invited to use their creative skills to make bunnies. The actual trail will take place between 29th March and 12th April 2021 – within the Covid restrictions, whatever they may be at the time.

For information, follow us on Facebook @RoystonFirst, alternatively, you can visit our website;

“We were so pleased that we were able to proceed

Market manager corner Rob, the Market manager has been working hard to keep the market running within Covid restrictions. “Despite having to endure yet another lockdown and the COVID restrictions, we are very fortunate to have traders continuing to provide Royston shoppers with exceptionally fresh produce.” The following stalls will be on the market over the coming months: St Ives Wholesale Produce Ltd We’re Letchworth Bakery open from n Priors Hall Farm Butchers 8am to 3pm n F.E. Tucker & Sons n Backstreet Catering n Mr Tacos n The Fudge Can n Polpetta Pasta - locally sourced honey and a new trader to Royston n n

Have you seen the new recycling bins? There are nine new recycling bins in the town centre, provided by NHDC through the Royston Town Centre Working Party led by Councillor Ruth Brown. Ruth commented, “This was a project I wanted to pursue to make Royston greener and more sustainable. The provision of these bins has come at a good time, when local residents are consuming more takeaway food and drinks during essential shopping trips to the town.” Please use them and encourage your customers to use them too!

Royston First | UPDATE 03

© Amy Murphy Photography

Other Christmas projects… ARTIST RETURNS TO DECORATE SHOP WINDOWS We had our fantastic artist back, who once again adorned some of the town’s shop windows with his amazing graffiti art. The popular festive designs included candy canes at the library, gingerbread men at Days and even Santa himself, at The Hair Boutique. It was brilliant to hear that the spray-painted art helped to bring colour and many smiles to Royston town centre. Thank you for all the amazing feed-back.

SPARKLY NEW CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Just as Christmas-lovers in Royston were putting up their trees weeks earlier than usual to bring some muchneeded festive spirit to a second national lockdown, brand new Christmas lights were being erected in the town for the holiday period.

We had lots of other comments too:

Although there was no official light “Pleased and enthralled to see switch on, due to the beautiful lights on the tree as Covid restrictions, well as in the town.” Royston’s main shopping streets “Looked amazing when I were, nevertheless, drove through.” aglow with impressive and sparkly white “Thank you for these lights. The pictures and wonderful lights.” comments across social media were amazing and worth the 10 months of hard work, from both Royston First and the Council. They definitely caught the eye of the community, including our Town Mayor, who posted on Facebook; “Hope you all enjoy the Christmas lights that have been put up in Royston this year. Thank you to Royston First, and everyone who was involved.” Royston First were pleased to support Royston Town Council in this project. Thank you to Amy Murphy Photography for allowing us to share her photo.

Royston First support Winter Wonderland Winter Wonderland came to Royston on December 13th, as Banyers House hosted a Christmas Fair with a difference, safely, in the hotel’s garden. For safety, the free-to-attend event organised by Kelly’s Kitchen, was ticketed to ensure safe numbers. They literally sold out within just a couple of days of going online.

On the day, families battled the poor weather to visit the stalls of local businesses, who offered a variety of Christmas gifts and treats. Santa even made a surprise visit to wish children a happy Christmas! Royston First were pleased to sponsor the wrapped gifts included in the children’s goody bags.

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REMINDERS FOR ROYSTON BUSINESSES ‘Royston Come Together’ Facebook group Have you joined our new Facebook group yet? ‘Royston Come Together’ is for businesses with premises in the town, providing a platform to improve communication and gather ideas to help Royston ‘thrive and revive’. To join, simply visit our Royston First Facebook page and you will find us under ‘Groups’.

‘Royston Come Together’ Whatsapp group Further, to improve communications and support one another, we have also created a WhatsApp group for businesses with premises in the town.

COVID posters and floor stickers Do you need any new posters or floor stickers for your workplace in line with COVID guidance? S imply download them from our website

This also provides the perfect place to share our latest news and updates, quickly, to you all.

So, what’s coming up?... We’re feeling confident that there’s light at the end of this tunnel so we continue to plan projects for the coming months: New bus route

Royston Town website updates

To run from the industrial estate into the town centre – to give residents and employees lunchtime opportunities to head into town.

New industrial estate signage To make it easier for the community to find businesses that are located on the industrial estate.

Date r for you y r a i d

To update some of the business pages, including the directory.

Producing a town re-opening plan To give Royston the best possible chance, following the end of lockdown.

Our next Royston First AGM will be held on Zoom, 28th of April 5.30pm for BID payers. If you are a BID payer and would like to to join the meeting please email

ROYSTON F1RST c/o Town Hall, Melbourn Street, Royston SG8 7DA 01763 878 242 Royston First

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