The launch of this year’s Christmas Fayre in Harrogate was the town’s busiest day over the last 6 months, new data from a firm working with Harrogate BID confirms.

The Harrogate BID team are excited to announce they will be working with HUQ to analyse and present data on the town’s footfall, density, catchment and dwell time over specified periods.

These figures, which cover 98% of the population, will allow the BID to develop strategies to deliver objectives in the Term 2 Business Plan, while working with Board Directors, BID Members and Partners.

Matthew Chapman, BID Manager, said: “We are very excited to get our teeth stuck into HUQ, which is used in many towns and cities around the UK.

“The system allows us as the BID, along with partners, to look at high street trends and results to evidence even more return on investment from the projects we deliver.

“Understanding where people come to Harrogate from, as well as how long they spend here, will allow us to promote our town more strategically at targeted periods throughout the year.”

Ed Horner, Harrogate BID’s new PR and Communications Officer, will be working closely with the HUQ figures to carry out research for future projects, campaigns and events.

The footfall data, which allows us to view the number of unique people observed within the BID area each day, shows that on Friday December 1st, the launch of this year’s Christmas Fayre, 126,522 people passed through the Harrogate BID area – making it the busiest day in the town centre over the last 6 months.

If a person exits and re-enters the specified area on the same day, they will only be counted once, as the data is formed through locations settings on a person’s mobile phone. On that basis, up until December 9th, 23,246,734 have passed through Harrogate so far this year, compared to a total of 21,631,852 throughout 2022.

Early indications suggest that the Christmas celebrations in Harrogate have led to an increase in spend in some of the town’s popular retailers, from national chains to independent businesses, which has again boosted profit margins for another year.

During the busy Christmas period, Harrogate Theatre has been hosting another popular pantomime, Dick Whittington, which staff said has played a crucial role in helping the venue’s work.

Natalie Rawel, Marketing Manager at the theatre, said: “We are having a brilliant year performing Dick Whittington and it’s wonderful to see so many families attending and having a great time.

“The success of the panto plays a crucial role in supporting the theatre’s year-round work with children and young people and hosting a fantastic range of performances for locals and tourists alike.”

Looking back at the HUQ figures, the density data allows the BID team to track the movement of people in the BID area, creating a map to show the most frequently visited sites. Green is used to show less busy areas, while red highlights the hotspots. For example, during the 17 days that the Christmas Fayre was in the town centre, some of the hotspots were in Cambridge Street, where the traders and stalls were located.

Granular catchment allows the BID team to observe where Harrogate’s visitors are coming from. Their home locations are organised at postcode district level, which is then used to create the visualisation on the map. So far in 2023, postcodes visiting the town include areas from as far as Falkirk, Forres and Inverurie in Scotland, Weymouth and Worthing on the south coast and Tywyn in Wales.

The dwell time figures show how long visitors are spending in the BID area. This is calculated using the average number of minutes people are spending in the town centre, and it allows the BID to see how time spent varies on different days across specified time periods. Unexpectedly, visitors have spent the most time in the BID area on a Sunday in 2023 so far, with an average of 2 hours and 50 minutes.

For any further updates or information, please contact the BID team on