Annual report

Our economy

Our Objectives:

  • Promoting investment and regeneration
  • Revitalising our neighbourhood and town centres
  • Supporting sustainable economic growth
  • Being business friendly


Our Achievements:

A new look White Lion Square was opened in Hatfield town centre following the completion of a major regeneration project. The square now boasts a completely revamped centre with exciting new features including children's play equipment, seating areas and cycle parking. It is the first stage of a wider town centre regeneration following the refurbishment of some shops, flats and offices around the square. This included working with the County Council to facilitate the relocation of Hatfield Library in the Square.

We announced our intention to protect important employment space in Welwyn Hatfield by issuing an Article 4 Direction. This will cover strategically important office sites in the borough when it comes into force. It will also help to remove permitted development rights that, for example, currently allow office buildings to be converted for residential use without full and formal planning permission.

A planning application was approved for our £45 million regeneration of the High View neighbourhood centre in Hatfield. We are working with developers Lovell to deliver the scheme. It will completely change the face of south Hatfield, transforming the centre at the heart of the community into a much more attractive and pleasant place to spend time. The 146 new homes will bring vibrancy and an increased footfall which, together with 19 new commercial units, will help bolster trade to existing businesses and attract new ones.

After a fire devastated one of our buildings at The Downs in Hatfield we rebuilt and renamed the building as the Hilltop Community Centre. We have designed the facility with local people in mind from children's parties to exercise classes. The space is versatile and well-equipped for all, providing our communities with easy access to spaces where they can come together, connect and enjoy spending time.

To support the growth of small and start-up businesses we purchased a property in Hatfield to transform into a business centre. The centre will provide 2,800 square metres of employment space and create 150 jobs locally. With £751,000 in financial support from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the fit-out of this centre has now been completed and will offer the unique opportunity to work alongside other businesses.

Following the award of £6.1 million in funding from the Homes England Accelerated Construction Fund to redevelop Welwyn Garden City North site, we held a number of engagement events to start to developing proposals. With the garden city celebrating its centenary in 2020 it was an ideal time to speak to our communities about how they see their town evolving over its next 100 years.

As part of the regeneration of Hatfield Town Centre and working towards to the 2030+ vision, work on a new multi-storey car park commenced. This will consolidate a number of surface car parks enabling the delivery of new housing and increasing footfall into the town centre. Demolition of 1 Town Centre took place in readiness for taking forward the redevelopment of the site.

We developed and implemented a series of initiatives to make local businesses aware of how to prepare for the UK's exit from the European Union and signposted them to where specialist advice, guidance and funding is available to help them with this transition.

A Safeguarding awareness session for businesses, a food business support seminar and a programme of low cost food training courses to businesses were also delivered.

As part of the national mental health awareness week a seminar for local businesses took place. Many local businesses attended and it was delivered in partnership with a local social enterprise company.