Harrogate BID (Business Improvement District) is using empty shops to tell the tale of the spa town’s connection to famous people.

The organisation, whose remit is to drive footfall into the retail heart of the town, has installed its first ‘well known’ window vinyl, in the former Hotter store on the corner of Cambridge Street and Market Square.

Led by the BID, the ‘well known’ windows is a collaboration between Harrogate historian Malcom Neesam, creative agency The Lift Agency, and signs and graphic experts, De-signs.

Hotter windows features Sir Edward Elgar, The Beatles and Louis Armstrong. Composer Elgar was a regular visitor to the town, staying at both the Crown Hotel and Majestic Hotel, whilst the Beatles and jazz trumpeter Armstrong played at the Royal Hall.

Over the coming weeks a further three empty units, including Debenhams on Parliament Street and Swarovski, on James Street, will see their windows displaying more famous faces, including Agatha Christie, Sir Winston Churchill and Charles Dickens.

Harrogate BID chair Sara Ferguson said: “What we are doing is bringing these empty shop units back into life, by telling tales of famous people who all have a connection with Harrogate.

“I think the first ‘well known’ window looks absolutely fantastic, and will help instill pride in our town, and also give people another reason to visit.

“There is nothing worse than seeing empty shops and what we are doing is helping to create a town that is a fabulous place to shop, eat and drink, one that is interesting, and one that is proud of its history and heritage.

“I would like to thank Malcolm Neesam for penning the words, and our two other partners in this project, De-signs, and The Lift Agency for creating these superb vinyl graphics.”