Business support & starting up a new business

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This section contains information of use to existing and new businesses in St Albans.


Vacant Units March 2017
The retail vacancy rate in the district is 2.2%. This information covers 10 Parishes (including the non-parished area in the City) and is extracted from the Council's business rates database. The vacancy rate for Town Centre’s in England (exc retail parks and shopping center’s) during 2016 was 11.3% according to figures from the Local Data Company.

Abbey Shuttle
Station to station bus connectivity. The shuttle links businesses and residents making journeys from St Albans Abbey to St Peters Street and St Albans City Station. The time table for the service can be seem on the link

Unemployment in May
The number of people claiming Out of Work benefits in St Albans City &District in May 2017 is 810 or 0.9%. This 20 more than the previous month.  The District remains the second lowest rate in the County and joint 69th lowest in England (out of 326 local authorities).  The England jobseeker rate is 2.2%.

Community Business Awards 2017
 St Albans District Chamber of Commerce. Finalists in the Leadership category include the Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council, James Blake. The finalists in the category for Corporate Social Responsibility includes accountancy experts and City of Expertise member Rayner Essex. The Gala Dinner takes place on 28th September 2017.
Low Carbon Workspace 
Full details, eligibility criteria and application forms can be found at: Low Carbon Workspaces offers eligible small and medium sized enterprises grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to cover a third of the cost of installing energy saving measures, such as LED lighting, insulation or heating controls. Contact Rowan Wallis 07786 080165.
St Albans Business Improvement District (BID)
The St Albans BID went live on 1st April 2017. St Albans BID Limited replaces the St Albans City Centre Partnership and has recently appointed a BID Manager. For more information on the St Albans BID company, what it will deliver and how it might support your business contact:

Parking in St Albans
Enforcement of parking restrictions in Market Place, Spencer Street and Upper Dagnall Street will begin on Saturday 1 July 2017. The restrictions will allow more people to park for short periods to visit near-by businesses and shops. People will be able pay to park in pay and display bays for up to one hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, from 8am to 6.30pm. Parking on Wednesdays, Saturdays and other occasional market days will be prohibited from 3am to 6.30pm. More information about parking is on the Council’s website at:


St Albans Enterprise Agency (STANTA)

Providing advice on business starts-up and business growth. Free and low cost workshops and training on financing, insurance, employment law, social media and local authority procurement. Tel: 01727 837760 

Energy Efficiency Grant
Energy saving opportunity. Up to £10k capital contribution towards energy-saving equipment. To find out more call 0207 832 4773

Hertfordshire Growth Hub
The Herts Growth Hub 
Discover the free targeted support available to businesses. This is delivered by industry experts for businesses who are at least 2 years old Get the skills and support your business needs by contacting the Hertfordshire Growth Hub on 0844 725 5575 Email

St Albans City and District Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce offers members a professional advisory service to help in the following fields; – legal, financial, accounting, tax, employment, marketing and general management practices. Find out how they can help support your business. Tel: 01727 863 054 hgtp://

Free workshops if you are starting up a business and have a business idea. Must either be a resident of, or starting a business in Hertfordshire. Tel: 0845 371 089 https://www.WENTA

Oakland’s College
For businesses looking to recruit or employ an apprentice, or to offer valuable work experience find out how Oakland’s College can support your business. 01727 737000 https://www.oaklandsapprenticeships

Oakland’s College Energy Centre Gas, plumbing and heating trades are available at Oakland’s College Energy Centre. The centre provides an up to date training environment that replicates the conditions encountered on a daily basis. Contact the Energy Centre team at the St Albans Campus 01727 737 300
Cyber Security
Protect your business. Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 Apprenticeship. This was developed by Oakland’s College and a group of employers including Airbus, BT, Cisco, Fujitsu, IBM and Royal Signals. https://www.OaklandsCollege or email
University of Hertfordshire
Supports start-ups and small businesses, undertakes research, consultancy and provides advice on funding Tap into the world of business support; consultancy, research and training 01707 286 406. Access a pool of talented students 01707 284 791

Sharing St Albans business information, tips and expertise

Start or grow your own business with a government backed loan

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

A membership organisation which can open doors for businesses and organisations of all types and size


Jabber Networking
Jabber business to business networking. FREE to attend (coffee & chocolates are included). 10am-noon. No membership tie-in. Venue: Metrobank, St Peters Street, St Albans AL1 3ED Next meeting Friday 14 July.
Contact David Hughes on 07701 027881 or email


Rothamsted Research
Being part of the world class Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise community gives you access site scientific facilities and services A range of state-of-the-art scientific equipment and facilities can be made available to businesses for use by qualified staff on a rental basis or accessed by businesses via the research services provided by staff.

St Albans City of Expertise
A unique cluster of leading professional services employers in St Albans and Harpenden offering expert advice to individuals and businesses. Members include financial, legal, property and banking professionals. Together the members are helping to build hub of experts and showcase St Albans as a great place to work and live. https://www.CityofExpertise

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Herts LEP)
Aiming to create the right conditions to “accelerate business-led economic growth in Hertfordshire” and for the County to become a world-leading economy. Tel: 01707 358744 Email:

For small creative companies working in or aspiring to work in the film and TV industry in Hertfordshire. ProConnect offers workshops, networking events, one-to-one consultations and business grants until summer 2019 for SMEs and sole traders. Location Elstree Studios. Sessions offering guidance on how to set up in business for recent graduates and other potential entrepreneurs. Location: West Herts College Visit To register on Hertfordshire ProConnect programme email Apply for business grants by clicking on this link:

Federation of Small Business
The FSB offers members a wide range of business services including advice, financial expertise and a powerful voice in government. Tel: 0808 2020 888

Date of last review: 27 June 2017