Hatfield Santa
Christmas Light Switch On

Hatfield was illuminated over the weekend as residents gathered to enjoy an array of festive activities.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

The lights were switched on on Saturday, with this year’s theme being Beauty and the Beast.

The festive fun began at 2pm in White Lion Square, and a line-up of singing and dancing talent entertained throughout the afternoon. 

Santa himself attended, to meet and greet children with his real-life reindeers.

As well as watching the town light up, local band Swanvesta Social Club, performed on stage in the build up to the big switch-on.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to watch Hatfield town centre illuminate at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on.

“It was great to see so many people there, getting into the festive spirit and enjoying all of the Christmas entertainment.”

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines. 

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

There is also a Christmas window display competition currently running in Hatfield.

You can vote for your favourite until Friday, December 15, by collecting a voting form from reception in White Lion House or from any shops that are taking part in the competition. 

Voting can also be done online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8T25GJJ

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines. 

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.


Hatfield's Christmas light switch-on event. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Big Summer

An estimated five thousand youngsters from across Welwyn Hatfield flocked to take part in the borough's first ever Big Summer programme.

The two weeks of August were jam-packed with activities to suit all ages and interests - including sports, dance, and music.

A total of 20 local partners put on around 90 activities over the fortnight, which were held at various locations across the borough.

Highlights included: Animal Antics in White Lion Square, Mobile Mini Golf in Market Place, and Skate Fest in Hatfield town centre.

Councillor Tony Kingsbury, Executive Member for Policy and Culture, said: "Big Summer was all about showcasing the mix of fun things to do, right here in Welwyn Hatfield.

"It was important the activities appealed just as much to older children and teenagers as they did to young families and, who knows, we may have inspired some next generation athletes, artists or musicians!

"Big Summer would not have been possible without the support of our fantastic local partners who, despite not always having the Great British weather on their side, really got into the spirit and made it such a massive success!"

The summer holiday fun continues throughout August with Play Rangers and children's activities at the Jim McDonald Centre. For more information, visit the council's website: www.welhat.gov.uk/events

The animal crackers event in Hatfield's White Lion Square last year.


Animal Crackers

The Animal Crackers event gave youngsters the chance to meet all kinds of farm animals, including ducks, sheep and donkeys – all from Ark Farm.

They were also taught about how they are looked after and what food they eat.

Borough councillor Tony Kingsbury, executive member for policy and culture, said: “Once again, this was a really popular event in Hatfield town centre which was both fun and educational for children.

“We’ve still got plenty of activities taking place throughout August, including the last few days of Big Summer, activities at the Jim McDonald Centre and the Water Day event at Mill Green Mill and Museum on Wednesday, August 23.”

The free event was part of the Big Summer line-up taking place across Welwyn Hatfield until Monday, August 14. For the full list visit www.welhatbigsummer.org/
Hundreds enjoy Hatfield’s World Culture Day

Hundreds flocked to the Hatfield World Culture Day event on Saturday in White Lion Square, where residents sampled cuisine from across the globe while soaking up arts, crafts and photo booths.

They were also treated to performances from artists including The Voice contestant Lawrence Hill, FK Dance Academy and The Cotter School of Irish Dancing.

Welwyn Hatfield Indians, Stage Call and the Open Heavens Christian Centre Youth Choir also wowed residents on the day.

Councillor Tony Kingsbury, executive member for policy and culture, said: “A huge thanks goes to everyone that took part on Saturday: the singers and dancers, the stall holders, the food vendors, and all the residents who came down to support the event.

“It was great to see Hatfield town centre bustling with music, arts and cuisine from all over the globe.

“People turned out in their hundreds to enjoy five hours of multicultural activities and celebration.

“We are a borough that embraces diversity and world culture, and Saturday’s event showed that Welwyn Hatfield is a vivacious borough to live in with plenty of different activities to get involved in.”

‘Freakshakes’ arrive in Hatfield thanks to new bakery

Bhavesh Vasoya, 33, of Meadow Croft, and his business partner Dushar Shah opened their new shop Cake Hut, in The Arcade, on Saturday, June 3.

The bakery which makes and sells trendy ‘freakshakes’, customised cakes, ice cream, and healthy smoothies is the duo’s first business venture.

Bhavesh, who previously worked for Tesco in Shire Park, said: “We wanted to open this shop in Hatfield town centre as Hatfield has been my home for the past ten years and we know many people around here.

“Before we opened people had to travel to London to get themselves a freakshake which cost £9 in the big city. I wanted local people to be able to experience trendy food for a much cheaper price so our freakshakes are £4.50.”

A freakshake is a high-calorie, mega milkshake. The creations combine ice cream, chocolate bars and entire slices of cake.

The father of two added: “It is really important for us that our businesses stay in Hatfield as we want to bring exciting things to our town.

“I have two children and there needs to be more things in this town for children to do.

“We have many business ideas but if the Cake Hut does well, the next mission is to open a bowling alley in the town or somewhere in Hatfield. We are looking at good locations for one.”

At the official opening of the store, Lynne Sparks cut a ribbon on Saturday.

She told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s a lovely shop, with lovely local people running it.

“They have amazing cakes, including eggless cakes, a lovely range of gelato, coffee, and more. The prices are very good too.

“I think they’ll do really well in the town, not just with their range, but because of their long opening hours too.

“There’s something for everyone. I look forward to visiting often.”

The Cake Hut is open from 8am until 10pm Monday to Friday, 8am until 10pm on Saturday, and 9am until 5pm on Sunday.

The popular independent cafe Bebo is also aiming to open this autumn at 17c Town Centre – the unit facing White Lion Square, next to Halifax bank.

Hatfield’s food bank for struggling people has relocated in the town centre.
The Manna Food Bank, operated by Open Heavens Christian Centre, has moved from 5A Town Centre to 62A, and is open on Fridays between 1pm and 4pm.

Food bank administrator Cathy Serra said: “There are a lot of really desperate people who come to us, and they have been getting lost because we need to get it signposted.

“Even though we have told the agencies where we are they still get lost.”

Cathy also said anyone who wanted to help the food bank could volunteer to collect and work in the warehouse, or organise fundraising activities.

Accepted donated food includes canned meats, tuna and salmon, jelly (no glass), canned stew and chili, tea bags, coffee (ground, no beans), canned vegetables, sugar and tinned baked beans.

They also accept canned fruits, pasta, cereals, rice, powdered milk, spaghetti and baby formula (Enfamil/Similac).

Hatfield Leisure Centre teams up for Move More scheme with Macmillan

People who have undergone cancer treatment are being encouraged to sign up to a free fitness and health programme in conjunction with Hatfield Leisure Centre and Macmillan.

As part of the Move More programme in partnership with Macmillan, people are able to refer themselves during their cancer pathway to the scheme which offers free fitness sessions, one-to-one support and advice and following reviews and feedback.

Commenting on the scheme Karol Butrimas-Gair, General Manager of Hatfield Leisure Centre said: “We would love to hear from people who have undergone treatment for cancer to come forward and get the full benefit of the Move More programme with Macmillan.

“We started this a year ago and currently have 20 people on the scheme which is delivered by a qualified cancer rehabilitation instructor. It is so rewarding to see people undergo these sessions which take into account any side effects they may have from treatment such as fatigue or movement issues.

“The scheme is open to people of all ages and all levels of fitness and we have seen it make such a positive difference to the people of Welwyn-Hatfield and the surrounding area.”

Those who sign up for the scheme are booked in for consultation to find out about their treatment and its side effects and are then given 12 free sessions which could include use of the gym or the pool, depending on their individual needs. There are then the options of further reduced rate sessions and follow ups at three, six and 12 months reviews and feedback to their health care.


Rhys Ratcliffe, Move More coordinator for the Herts region said: “I have been working on this scheme for almost a year and it provides great support. Cancer can leave people with a black hole in their lives as after treatment many people feel there’s no incentive and no focus to do anything.

“Move More allows people who want to take back control to do something for their own health and they can set up a programme with our help which can be tailored to their own specific needs.”

More details can be found at:

Exciting times ahead for Hatfield
Popular local deli-café, Bebo, has announced plans to open a branch in Hatfield town centre. It’s the latest in a long line of new retailers, with demand for units now outweighing supply. It’s another success for the Corporate Property team, which has worked hard overseeing the investment programme to make Hatfield more attractive to retailers both large and small. 

Bigger plans are also on the horizon with a planning application being prepared for a multi-storey on The Common car park. This is part of the work identified by the Hatfield 2030+ partnership to release important space in the town centre for residential-led redevelopment. And a planning application is also being processed to transform the eastern entrance and develop Numbers 1 and 3-9 Town Centre into new residential and retail units. Watch this space!



Welwyn Hatfield Means Business Grant Scheme

The Welwyn Hatfield Means Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications.

Are you based in the borough?  Employ less than 11 Employees?  Have a turnover of less than £750,000?  Yes?? Then you are eligible to apply for a grant of up to £1,000 for anything that would help your business to grow.  Applications will be shortlisted and successful candidates invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges.  The grant can be used for: -

  • Test trading a product or service
  • Expanding into a new market
  • Diversifying into a new product area
  • Promoting a product or service
  • Buying equipment or tools to improve your efficiency, or  to launch a new business
  • Producing a prototype

The panel of judges made up of local businesses will hear the ideas and decide whether or not to award the grant.  The publicity the winners will receive is worth as much as the grant! 

Application form

Terms and conditions

Hatfield litter poster competition winner

A big congratulations to Harry, aged six, who is the winner of the Hatfield litter poster competition.

Here is a picture of Harry collecting his prize from Mayor Councillor Pat Mabbott and another of his winning poster. Well done Harry!




Hatfield Town Centre Pancake Race

Employees of Hatfield town centre businesses took part in a lunchtime pancake race under the arcade in White Lion Square this pancake day.

The winner was Chris Jefferys who works at Wrights Estate Agent in Hatfield.

Receiving his £25 gift voucher prize, Mr Jefferys said: “I’m a bit worn out but it’s fantastic to win.

“Thank you for the voucher.”

Presenting the prize, mayor Patricia Mabbott said: “The competitors did really well in the race but it was about more than that – we wanted town centre workers to come together, have some fun and see the benefits of living and working in a vibrant town centre that is open for business.

“Congratulations to Chris for winning the hard-fought race. He’s no doubt tired from winning the pancake race but on the flip side, he has won a £25 gift voucher.”

The race was well attended by Hatfield town centre business, including staff from Hatfield Library, a very keen and fierce male competitor from ASDA, and Eric Van Genderen – the owner of recently opened Calamity Comics, who was the runner up.

Eric said: “I’m a bit tired now. I got off to a false start, dropping the pancake at the initial flip on the start line.

“But I have to say that Chris is a worthy winner.”

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, commented: “It’s been a great day for everyone and I hope that people enjoyed meeting fellow town centre workers.

“We all know that competition is a healthy thing in business – but this time it was just a good bit of fun.

“I’m just glad that the weather stayed fine for the event.”

Hatfield visited by European delegates to talk social inclusion

The delegation of visitors arrived in Hatfield on February 8, as part of the EU Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership with Hatfield charity Kaleidoscope Enterprise.

The partnership called ‘Innovative Quality Mentoring for Inclusion’ paired our EU neighbours with the charity in order to better understand the community context we operate in and the nature of exclusion and deprivation.

The council was represented by councillor Bernard Sarson and partnerships officer Lester Vaughan, who guided the visitors around Hatfield Town Centre and gave talks about the council’s community strategy for tackling deprivation and social exclusion.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, executive member for business, partnerships and public health, said: “It was a real pleasure for me to show our European neighbours the initiatives we have in place to deal with exclusion and deprivation.

“It is important to share knowledge and teach and learn from other countries.

“We have come a long way in our regeneration of Hatfield and we continue to do everything we can to prevent exclusion and deprivation.”

Moreen Pascal, leader of Kaleidoscope, said: “The best thing about the day was being able to view Hatfield’s not-for-profit sector through the eyes of strangers.

“I think it reinforced our view that the sector is full of clever, passionate people and organisations who are busy doing things that are very worthwhile for our community, despite financial and social challenges.”

One of the Romanian delegates commented: “I was most impressed by the authenticity of the people that hosted us.

“The diversity of settings, and seeing people in their own place, has added to the depth of the exchanges.

“Each visit has hit a cord relating to my own activity in Romania.”

The day concluded with a dinner held at Hatfield Rotary Club.

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