Business NEWS

Vacant Units. December 2016 – The retail vacancy rate is 2.7% for the district. This information is extracted from the Council's business rates database. The latest national town centre vacancy rate 11.3% (Local Data Company Dec 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.

International Women’s Day and National Careers Week

Inspiring Women Speed Networking event with Year 12 and Year 8 Students from St Albans Girls’ School

Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, Herts AL3 6DB.

Tuesday 7 March 2017 08:00-10:30

The purpose of the morning is to enable students to speed network and awaken their imaginations about the careers available to them.

Begin the day with an informal networking breakfast until 08:45

09:00: Meet a selection of students in a speed networking event. The students will be working in small groups with a minimum of six women for approximately 10-15 minutes at a time. Attendees are asked to share their career path and the various roles and qualifications that they possess.

To attend please contact St Albans Girls’ School Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, Herts AL3 6DB Tel: 01727 853134 or visit

Calling all SMEs: How can Apprenticeships benefit your business?

Hertfordshire Growth Hub and the National Apprenticeship Service are hosting a FREE event for SMEs

• The benefits of apprenticeships from a business perspective
• How to maximise Government funding to develop staff
• How the Apprenticeship Levy will work

Date: Friday 24 March 2017
Venue: Fielder Centre, Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield Avenue, Hatfield, AL10 9TP
Timings: 9am registration for a 9.30am start, finishes at 12pm (followed by a networking lunch)

Event webpage for full details about the event and how to book

Increase and improve your online presence

A free event aimed at SME’s, sole traders and entrepreneurs

The workshop will cover;

- Online admin tools
- Social media scheduling
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Power of social media

Refreshments will be available on the day plus there will likely be a guest speaker also, details to be confirmed.

To register please visit;

For other questions contact Sagar at

The Green Triangle's networking breakfast of 2017, 22nd February

Join us at CCOMM Group for an interactive event on collaborative IT. Guest special speaker, Chris Ward of RD Tax Solutions will demonstrate how your business could claim tax relief through R&D and sustainability.

7:30am Arrival, registration, networking and refreshments
8:00am Welcome and introduction to CCOMM Group and collaborative IT - Mike Entwistle
8:30am Claiming tax relief on R&D and sustainability - Chris Ward
8:50am Interactive session and networking
9:30am Event Closes

Media House
2 Sandridge Park
Porters Wood
St. Albans

Cost: £17.50 Members, £22.50 Non Members

To book your place on this event please email

St George's Day Lunch 2017

The St Albans District Chamber St George's Day lunch is an annual event for the Hertfordshire business community.

Date: Friday 21st April 2017
Guest Speaker: Vanessa Feltz
Venue: Sopwell House Hotel, St Albans

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.

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

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 Road-test your idea
Wednesday 1st Mar 2017, 10am-12pm, St Albans
Thursday 16th Mar 2017, 7:30-9:30pm, Welwyn

For information contact:
01727 814644

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

Date of last review: 21 February 2017