The latest from the Chamber of Commerce

Sarah Lister Morford of Hour Glass Fitness, radio presenter Natalie B and Lisa Bates

Sarah Lister Morford of Hour Glass Fitness, radio presenter Natalie B and Lisa Bates - Credit: Archant

Just how brilliant was St Albans Fashion Week? I sat in the Abbey on the front row last Friday with sponsor Catherine Morris from Christopher Place Shopping Centre and felt privileged and proud to be amongst so many talented and visionary people – what an amazing triumph for all involved.

I remember speaking to our Mayor Cllr Annie Brewster at the beginning of the year about her idea to hold a catwalk show in the Abbey for charity and boy did she pull it off! It really was a spectacular event showcasing so many of our independent retailers in our beautiful Abbey – the longest catwalk I have ever seen! Huge thanks to our Dean, Jeffrey John, for allowing use of the Nave for such a new and unknown concept; let’s hope it can be an annual event for our super stylish city.

The Chamber membership is growing at some pace and we seem to have had a real flurry in membership applications through the door. There just seems to be a real positive buzz around the business community at the moment, and let’s hope this is a sign of our local economy growing in confidence.

We are hearing from quite a few Chamber members that due to growth in their business they need larger office space, which is fantastic for our commercial property agents!

I asked Steve Walker from Collinson Hall Commercial for his thoughts about the current market in St Albans and he told me: “It is all good news – we are experiencing a sustained interest in retail units to the point where we have little available.

“We are also seeing an increase in demand for office space as confidence returns.”

November will see a big increase in footfall in the city centre as the University of Hertfordshire graduation ceremonies take place at the Cathedral.

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The week beginning Monday, November 18, will see the start of a very busy week for our restaurants, shops, bars and transport services as hundreds of graduates descend down Holywell Hill and George Street to the Abbey to celebrate their success with their families.

Many of their family members will have never been to the area before so are bound to enjoy a walkabout, something to eat and hopefully some shopping too!

Are any retailers or restaurants doing any particular promotions or offers during this week? If so you should be contacting the University to let the students know!

The Slaves are back by popular demand for The Annual Chamber Ball next Saturday, November 16, so get your dancing shoes on and come along with your colleagues or clients.

There are a few tables left and also individual tickets which can be booked now online.

This is a great occasion to meet other business representatives in an informal setting whilst having a great night out at the same time. The Slaves are a fantastic three-piece band who play locally from time to time – check them out at

Speed networking returns on Wednesday, November 20, at Westminster Lodge. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to positively promote your business, make new contacts and explore mutual business opportunities with like minded delegates – and it’s fun, all for only £20 including a buffet and wine. Full details are on the events section of our website. We hope to see you there.

We welcome the following new businesses to the Chamber: Global Igloo, Cold Chain Vehicle Services, Home from Holme, Beatbike Studios, Natalie B Ltd, Body you Want, West End Training, Solid People, Rosemary Book Keeping, Arena Taxis, Bistro Paprika, Anastasias Greek Restaurant, Seymour Styles and Jaw Construction.