What we do
Here is a snapshot of the main services we offer and the projects we run.
We promote Watford Town Centre as a destination. Our goal is to drive footfall, spend and dwell time in the town centre by showcasing all that’s on offer, reaching out to anyone who lives, works, visits or runs a business in Watford or within travelling distance to Watford.
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Promoting your organisation
We are committed to promoting our levy paying businesses on the Watford Town Centre website and on our social media channels. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01923 919989 to tell us your news or to request a visit from us.
Safe & secure
We want you, your staff, customers, and clients to have a positive experience in Watford Town Centre and feel safe and comfortable while here. That’s why we work closely with the police and partner agencies and are committed to:
- Providing an excellent service to members of our business crime reduction partnership: ‘Watford Business Against Crime’.
- Contributing to the town centre CCTV system.
- Monitoring street drinking, begging and rough sleepers and immediately notifying the relevant authorities of antisocial behaviour issues, working with them to minimise the impact on Watford Town Centre users.
- Supporting the police and levy payers with the identification of offenders for theft and burglary
- Working with partner agencies on important issues, such as reducing Violence Against Women (VAWG).
- Retaining the town centre’s Purple Flag status for its night time economy.
- Encouraging and supporting licensing venues to achieve Best Bar None Accreditation.
Every summer we install eye catching floral displays, adding colour and vibrancy to Watford Town Centre. Our beautiful planters are positioned on the length of the High Street and along the key roads that adjoin it (where pavement space permits!) as well as across the pond bridge and on lamppost columns on Queens Road.
Each year, our levy payers have the opportunity to purchase hanging baskets from us at cost price from our supplier to improve their own frontages, and we run a 2-4-1 offer, as we recognise the additional vibrancy these business baskets bring to the streetscape.
We commissioned two young Herts designers to create 12 unique designs featuring local Watford landmarks and icons, including Vicarage Road, Anthony Joshua, Bradley Walsh, Graham Taylor and Cassiobury Park. We have historically installed these brightly coloured banners on lampposts in the BID area during the earlier months of the calendar.
Since 2019, we have also installed Christmas themed banners to complement and promote our Winter in Watford campaign, which highlight different ways to enjoy the festive season in Watford Town Centre.
We encourage businesses in Watford Town Centre with window frontages to dress them up during times of celebration, including when Watford FC reached the FA cup final and for her majesty the Queen’s Jubilee.
Our LED lights, installed on trees along The Parade and High Street, are switched on for key events and special occasions.
Watford Town Centre BID has been responsible for the funding and management of the Christmas Lights displays since 2019. We also organise the big Christmas Lights Switch-On event each year which attracts thousands of visitors into Watford Town Centre.
Winter in Watford
To celebrate the winter festivities, Watford Town Centre BID runs the Winter in Watford campaign, which promotes the things you can do in Watford town centre over the festive period, including the pantomime at Watford Palace Theatre, places to go out for festive dining, and the late night shopping hours at Atria Watford shopping centre.
Business Improvement Grants
Our business grant scheme operates on an annual basis and gives levy paying businesses the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to make an improvement to their business. If you would like to find out more, please contact our office.
Watford Gift Card
We launched the Watford Gift Card in February 2020 and our businesses can sign up for free to accept it as a method of payment – it goes through the till in the same way as a Mastercard debit transaction would. By doing so our businesses benefit from the extensive marketing that we carry out throughout the year to promote the card as being ‘the gift of choice’ for anyone living in the local area. The Watford Gift Card scheme is designed to lock in spend in Watford Town Centre and promote the range of businesses we have in our town.
How to buy a Watford Gift Card and where to spend it?More information
Social & B2B events
We recognise the value that feeling part of the Watford Town Centre business community can bring to those working here, so we create regular opportunities to bring people together to connect.
Our October Ball is an annual ticketed black-tie gala dinner, hosted at The Langley. Attendees enjoy a drinks reception, followed by dinner, awards and dancing. You can view our October Ball films on our YouTube channel.
We also hold evening get togethers at one of the bars, pubs or leisure venues in Watford Town Centre, twice a year, for BID businesses and their staff to come along to for an informal catch up with the BID team and colleagues from around the town centre. Keep an eye on our ‘Date for Diary’ section for our upcoming events.
Town Centre metrics
We collate footfall data and dwell time to understand where people who come to Watford are travelling in from and how long they are staying for. We also monitor vacant properties and speak to lettings agents / property owners to understand the nature of the vacancy and compare our local data with national rates to understand how Watford Town Centre is performing.
Our vacancy data and footfall reports can be found on our member-only platform www.watfordlinkup.com, which can be accessed by anyone who work in a levy paying business or is part of Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce.
Cardboard recycling scheme
As Watford strives to be an eco-friendlier town, we have made sustainability one of our core objectives and are committed to supporting businesses in Watford Town Centre become carbon neutral.
We have been running a free cardboard collection scheme since February 2023, collecting cardboard waste from registered businesses in the BID area in our electric van.
The service enables eligible businesses to dispose of commercial cardboard free of charge and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. To be eligible you must be up to date with your BID levy payments.
Our annual Wellness Week takes place in September, coinciding with national fitness week. We use the week to encourage our businesses and Watford Town Centre’s residents and visitors to focus on their mental and physical wellbeing. One of the highlights of the week is our steps challenge, which sees teams from our businesses compete against each other to walk the most steps over the course of Wellness Week.
Best Bar None Accreditation
If you are a licensed venue in the BID area, you are eligible to apply for Best Bar None accreditation. Best Bar None is a voluntary accreditation scheme supported by the Home Office, which is aimed primarily at promoting responsible management and rewarding excellence in licensed premises. Our Watford scheme is supported by Pubwatch, Hertfordshire Police and Watford Borough Council.
The process of becoming a Best Bar None accredited venue is not an easy one as each venue must meet over 80 standards, providing evidence to show they match up to each one. The assessment is split into two categories – essential and bonus – and venues will be provided with a report showing the areas in which they are doing well and if there are bonus areas they can work towards.
Accreditation certificates are presented at our annual October Ball. To find out more please contact the Watford Town Centre BID team.
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What we do
- Promoting your organisation
- Safe & Secure
- Colourful displays
- Lamppost banners
- Special events
- October Ball
- Christmas Lights
- Winter in Watford
- Business Improvement Grants
- Watford Gift Card
- Social & B2B events
- Town Centre Metrics
- Cardboard recycling scheme
- Wellness Week
- Best Bar None Accreditation