Hatfield was a 'Portas Pilot'

In 2012, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was successful in its second bid for Hatfield to become a 'Portas Pilot' town. The revised bid was made on behalf of Hatfield town centre's town team.

Portas town illustration

Community funding opportunity

In the spring of 2016, a review was carried out on the under-spend of this Portas funding. As a result, the council and the Hatfield Town Team, which was put together to oversee the original Portas project, are now encouraging Hatfield-based charities and community groups to apply for a share of the £3,000 under-spend. 

The intention is for this money to be spent on projects that improve Hatfield town centre and benefit the community.

The only conditions to applying for funding are that the project should meet the Hatfield Town Team objectives - enhancing the look, feel and marketing of Hatfield Town Centre. 

To apply, please download the pdf icon Hatfield Town Team Grant Application Form [33KB], and either email it to: info@hatfieldtown.co..uk or print it off and send it to:

Tina Benson 
Town Centre Co-ordinator
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council 
The Campus 
Welwyn Garden City
AL8 6AE.

Applications received will go to the relevant working group for approval. Once that group reviews the application, the decision will be escalated up to the Town Team for review and sign off, and the group/ charity applying will be notified.

Hatfield as a Portas Pilot

Hatfield's Town Team - established out of the long-running Town Centre Forum - focused on five key areas with the Portas funding:

  • Markets and Social enterprise - including enhancing and revitalising the market to increase visitor numbers, and increasing the number of new stalls
  • Entertainment and Events - including creating an events space in the town centre, and investing in portable undercover staging
  • Shops and Advertising - including transforming a vacant unit into a Town Team shop linking tourism, and providing marketing and business support
  • Connections and Transport links - expanding the University of Hertfordshire's 'smart card' travel project to include top-ups/ loyalty points and more
  • Environmental Improvements.

Achievements within the Hatfield community

Highlights of some achievements made possible thanks to the funding:

  • New performance stage for outdoor events
  • Bright new market stalls for the Farmers Market and the General Market
  • Special Hatfield Website
  • Hatfield Town Hub- a community hub and information point in Hatfield Town Centre;
  • Free parking in Hatfield town centre maintained.

The dedicated Hatfield website (www.hatfieldtown.co.uk) offers an interactive store directory, with opportunities to sign up to updates and provides information about progress on the refurbishment currently underway.

About the Portas Pilot scheme

The pilot scheme tested the recommendations from the 'Portas Review', a document researched and released by retail expert Mary Portas.

It provided an opportunity for a local partnership to develop with the aim of invigorating high streets and was introduced by Grant Shapps MP for Welwyn Hatfield, who was at the time housing minister.

For Hatfield, it provided an excellent opportunity to bring together key stakeholders to begin to reinvigorate the town centre..

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