Hitchin Pride, Eat Alfresco and more - What's on in Hitchin when COVID-19 restrictions end?

Tom Hardy will continue the work of the Hitchin BID after successful reballot. Picture: Hitchin BID

Town centre manager Tom Hardy has revealed what we can expect in the town once COVID-19 restrictions end - Credit: Archant

Town centre manager Tom Hardy has revealed the popular events that will be returning to Hitchin as part of the town's exciting reopening plans, once this latest lockdown ends.

Although many of the town's businesses have had to close again for this third national lockdown, Tom has been busy as ever, and says there will be plenty of events to enjoy later this year to help kickstart the vibrant local business scene once this third national lockdown is over.

Tom said: "It sounds premature now, because we're in the thick of this coronavirus pandemic. But, the BID have been using this time to effectively plan for when we're all allowed to enjoy our wonderful town centre again.

"We just wanted to effectively get ahead of the game, by being prepared to get things back up and running as soon as it's safe to do so. We want to give our town the best possible chance of bouncing back."

Tom Hardy, Hitchin town centre manager, and Rick Gaglio, Owner of TwistedFabric, officially open the

Last summer, Tom Hardy and the BID helped publicise the successful reopening of Hitchin businesses following the first lockdown. - Credit: Archant

So what sort of events can we expect to see?

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Tom says the popular Eat Alfresco experience that took the town by storm last summer will definitely be returning for 2021. Town centre eateries will all be able to set up outdoor dining areas on Market Place from Mondays to Fridays when safe to do so.

Celebratory street days that highlight different roads in the town will hopefully go ahead at the end of May (if restrictions allow) and a one-off 'good news' Hitchin town centre newspaper will follow, highlighting the positive stories of the town centre in the last 12 months.

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And plans have been discussed that could see Hitchin Festival, beach week, food fest and Hitchin Pride events organised for this summer.

Tom said: "We know Hitchin is not a desolate wasteland of vacant units, we are not a dying town and we will bounce back from this.

"It may not seem like it now, but we will get out of this and when it's safe to do so, we want as many people as possible to come and support our businesses."

Although Tom is cautiously optimistic about reopening plans, he says he's not putting too much thought into any particular timeframe.

"We've discussed the first week of March as a potential option, but as we've seen already these things can change in a matter of 24 hours notice," Tom said.

The BID is also organising a business awards event that will celebrate the town centre's retailers who have adapted to the many challenges of COVID-19.

What are you most looking forward to when we're able to return to our town centres?

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