Business News

Business NEWS

Smart Motorways Programme A1 (M) Junction 6-8

Highways England plan to transform some of the UK’s busiest motorways into smart motorways by 2040. The programme aims to ease congestion and improve traffic flows.

The A1(M) junction 6 to 8 is identified as a key project and work will commence in 2019/20. The first stage will be completed by the end of May 2017.

Stakeholders are invited to comment or request further information.

Please contact, or by phone on 01179 302018.

Cambridge Model Results

Tourism is worth more than £2.1 billion to Hertfordshire’s economy, according to new research from Visit Herts. Independent research commissioned by Visit Herts has revealed an impressive picture of tourism across the county, with more than 25 million visitors making day trips and overnight stays in Hertfordshire. Tourism supports 38,000 jobs for both local residents, and those living nearby to the county, with the industry accounting for 7% of Hertfordshire’s total employment. Click here to find out more.

St Albans Businesses in partnership with My Mustard

Event: Get Ahead In Business Location:
Holiday Inn Express at London Colney
Time: Thursday 26th January 2017 at 10am – 1pm

To attend and get involved click on the following link

Calling Gas, plumbing and heating trades

The Energy Centre at Oaklands College helps to train staff to industry standards.

The Energy Centre provides an up to date training environment that replicates the conditions and you and your staff encounter on a daily basis.

Contact the Energy Centre team based at the St Albans Campus, 01727 737 300 or email

Free Business Breakfast

Struggling to find skilled staff?
Need to upskill your existing workforce?
Do you know about the April 2017 Apprenticeship Reform and what that means for your business?

Thursday 26th January 7.15 – 9.15 am
Discovery Centre, Oaklands College, Hatfield Road, St Albans AL4 0JA
Sat nav AL4 0XS


Setting up a Social Enterprise

In a social enterprise profits are re-invested into the business in order to make a difference to the chosen cause.

Social Enterprise – What is it and is it for me?
FREE but please call / email to pre-book
Thursday 26th Jan 2017, 7:30-9:30pm, St Albans
Wednesday 8th Feb 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm, Welwyn

Social Enterprise Road-test your idea
Discuss funding, social media, legal structures and business planning
Cost £10
Thursday 19th Jan 2017, 7:30-9:30pm, Harpenden
Wednesday 25th Jan 2017, 10am-12pm, Hatfield
Wednesday 1st Mar 2017, 10am-12pm, St Albans
Thursday 16th Mar 2017, 7:30-9:30pm, Welwyn

For information contact:
01727 814644

The Hertfordshire Growth Hub

The Hertfordshire Growth Hub aims to be the go-to service for established businesses with the potential to grow, helping them find and use locally-sourced support.

The Growth Hub offers free of charge, one-to-one support from experts specialising in skills, finance, technology and productivity, sales and marketing and inward investment. Based on an evaluation of your business ambitions, the specialist business advisers will help you find any available funding.

For support to grow your business find out more at the Growth Hub website, call them on 0844 725 5575 or email

Cyber Security qualification with Oakland’s College

Title: Cyber Security Technologist (trailblazer standard)
Qualification: Level 4 Apprenticeship

By the end of the course attendees will have an understanding of cyber threats, hazards, risks, controls, measures and mitigations to protect organisations and people.

This new trailblazer was developed by Oaklands College a group of employers including Airbus, BT, Cisco, Fujitsu, IBM and Royal Signals.

Visit: https://www.OaklandsCollege or email

Rothamsted Research in Harpenden delighted by Science & Innovation Audit (SIA) for the East of England

The Government has recognised the strength of the Agri-Tech sector in the East of England and awarded a Science and Innovation Audit. The audits are a deep survey of innovation taking place in industry and the public sector. They are conducted to inform central Government of regional strengths for potential future funding streams, and to assist with foreign direct investment. Five pilot audits were announced in March of this year.

How to Get Ahead in Business 2017

St Albans Businesses is a group of people who come together online and offline to support and help each other run successful and profitable businesses; they openly ask questions, are happy to share ideas, chat candidly about business challenges and have created a robust team of committed and likeminded professional colleagues.
Thursday 26th January 2017, 10am - 1pm
Holiday Inn Express, London Colney, AL2 1AB

The Green Business Fund - The Carbon Trust

Up to £10k capital contribution towards energy-saving equipment
● Up to £10,000 capital contribution to SMEs in England, Scotland and Wales for energy saving equipment.

Energy saving opportunity assessments
● Funded energy saving opportunity assessments from one day of onsite support to SMEs

Funded equipment procurement support
● Up to five days of funded procurement support – to help procure appropriate equipment suppliers

To find out more call 0207 832 4773

Centre for Sustainable Communities at the University of Hertfordshire

Publications: Garden Cities – Why Not?
This paper was co-written by CSC’s Head of Urbanism, Dr Susan Parham, as part of the Perspective Series published by the International Garden Cities Institute. It addresses what potential there might be for more Garden Cities to be built in the future.

Research: new Tarmac/UH Project Launches
Following the successful conclusion of the Sustainable Living Partnership last year the UoH launch a fresh three year research project that will address issues of materials, buildings and the uses that we find for them. Research Fellow Dr John McCormack is addressing a fresh research challenge and details will be shared in future seminars. Details of the last project can be found here

Short courses 2016/17:
The programme is confirmed. Details can be found and online credit card bookings can be made here.

Follow the links to book yourself on an event. Enquiries welcome on any aspects of the work in transport, urbanism and sustainability.

CSCS cards - Are you working in Construction?

Most construction sites require workers to have a CSCS card. CSCS Cards are graded by a colour system and the CSCS Card you qualify for depends on your level of training, experience, courses, qualifications and trade.
Find out more: Oaklands College, St Albans Campus, Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL4 0JA
01727 737 117 or 07711 080 719

New help for employers from HMRC

Easy e-learning and YouTube guides for employers

HMRCs new online e-learning guidance, ‘Becoming and Employer’, provides all an employer needs to know and it makes a useful guide. HMRC also has a new series of five short videos to help and support new employers.

New employers – the basics
When and how to pay PAYE
Payroll software and sending reports to HMRC
How to send your final PAYE submission
How to issue P60s

“City of Expertise” new website

St Albans Solicitors, Financial Services, Banks and Chartered Surveyors continue to raise the profile of St Albans as a ‘City of Expertise’. The new ‘City of Expertise’ website, developed by Oyster Studio, has been produced to showcase events, promote services and highlight local careers opportunities.

Enviro-tech Enterprise Zone

Enterprise zone bid to boost the economy in rural Hertfordshire - The joint bid from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) along with St Albans City and District Council and Dacorum Borough Council for an Enviro-tech Enterprise Zone was successful. The Enterprise Zone has the potential to create thousands of highly skilled jobs. The zone could also attract hundreds of new businesses and help unlock key development sites. More information.

St Albans District Chamber of Commerce

St Albans District Chamber of Commerce was formed in November 1907 to 'further the interest of businesses in the area ensuring positive growth and development'. Over one hundred years later they are still committed to these objectives and aim to be a 'voice' for their members. View the latest newsletter from the Chamber online here.

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is one of 39 LEPs across the country tasked by the Government to drive forward sustainable private sector growth and job creation. The business-led Board is responsible for setting the vision and strategic priorities for publically funded economic development in the county. Read the latest newsletter from the LEP here or sign up to receive the LEP newsletter.

Green Triangle

The Green Triangle is a partnership organisation formed of leading research, education and local government organisations, BRE, Rothamsted Research, University of Hertfordshire, St Albans City & District Council and Oaklands College. Launched in May 2015, the organisation focuses on supporting businesses in the green sector from across the County and beyond and has already started to work with international businesses. They also work with companies from any sector to support and encourage them to become more sustainable. For more information, see or contact Tara Clark on 07743 809515 or email

University of Hertfordshire

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Programme
This programme offers a blend of employer requirements that are part of a management degree. It is professionally recognised by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship Programme
This programme offers four specialisms: Software Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst, Data Analyst or Networking Engineer.

St Albans City Centre Partnership (CCP)

Plans by the employer led City Centre Partnership to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in St Albans have been approved. 531 businesses and other bodies in the designated BID area were eligible to vote. The BID will start in April 2017.

The ballot result was 97 votes in favour and 92 against on a turn-out of 36.9%.

Under the BID plan for St Albans, businesses in the area will pay a levy of 1.8% of their rateable value.

For more information contact
St Albans City Centre Partnership:
Richard Marrett, City Centre Manager
Email:; Tel: 07949 856372.

Finance for Non-Financial Managers on January 10th 2017

The aim of the course is to convey a basic understanding of finance to those of you who do not come from a financial or accounting background.

Covering everything you will need to understand your business accounts, the implication of VAT, cash v accrual systems, budget reporting and completing your monthly accounts.

Training is given by a fully qualified accountant.

Venue: Maylands Business Centre in Hemel Hempstead.
Cost: £65+VAT.

For further information please email or call 01442 531002

Dates for major City Centre events in 2017

The Alban Street Festival will take place on Sunday 25 June. This will include live music, dancers and street performers, arts and craft stalls.

The 10th St Albans and Harpenden Food and Drink Festival to showcase the District’s thriving food and drink will be held on Saturday 23 September to Monday 2 October 2017.

The Christmas Lights Switch-On will be held on Sunday 18 or 25 November, depending on the feedback from this year’s event.

The events are intended to boost the local economy, promote businesses, highlight the City’s heritage and help build a strong community.

Useful to know

Vacant Unit Survey June 2016 – The retail vacancy rate is 2.5% for the district. This information is extracted from the Council's business rates database. The latest national combined retail and leisure vacancy rate from Local Data Company is 11.2% (June 2016).
Unemployment December 2016 – The number of people claiming Out-of-Work Benefits in the St Albans City and District is 720 people or 0.8%. The District is the second lowest rate in the County (the rate for East Hertfordshire is 0.7%) and joint 67th lowest rate in England. The England Jobseeker rate was 2.2% during December 2016.
Government grants to upgrade business broadband Over 40,000 small businesses in 50 cities and surrounding areas are already benefitting from the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme. Find out if your business is eligible for up to £3,000 to cover the installation costs of upgrading to a faster and more reliable connection. Most businesses will pay nothing other than VAT and the standard monthly charges.
Taking on, or thinking about taking on a new Employee? Our new e-learning Becoming an Employer will offer the payroll help needed to get it right first time.
Free HMRC online VAT support – available anytime Take the first step to finding out about registering for VAT and getting started and once registered find out more information about VAT. Also watch our YouTube video on submitting a VAT return.
Self Employed National Insurance and Self Assessment Since 6 April 2015 Class 2 NICs has become collectable through Self Assessment for most self-employed people. Payment for 2015/16 will be due no later than 31 January 2017. A small number of customers will not be required to complete an SA return and HMRC will be sending these customers a bill by October 2016 to enable them to continue to paying their contributions. Read more

Date of last review: 19 January 2017