Welcome to our September Newsletter

Since our last newsletter, a great deal has happened in relation to Harrogate BID and the town in general.

For those in the hospitality industry, I think we can all agree August’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative was a huge success. It brought people out of their homes and into bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes. Town was busy, which was great to see. In addition to the dining aspect, it gave the retail sector a lift too.

However, whilst we can’t escape the fact that a number of town centre shops have closed in recent weeks and months, it’s great to see new businesses opening up. Harrogate is a great place to do business, and one of our aims is to make it even better for all concerned.

In this update, we introduce you to our two new recruits, let you know about our plans for Christmas, and how we are going to make the town ‘bloom’!

Next month, BID Members have the opportunity to stand for election to the BID Board, and I am sure there will be a number of you out there who would welcome the opportunity of being an active part of the BID.

Finally, a recent campaign of ours to promote the Harrogate Gift Card used the strapline, ‘Shop. Drink. Eat. Repeat’. It’s a message we will keep on promoting. We will be spreading the message that Harrogate is a fabulous place to shop, eat and drink.

Please do stay in touch, and if you have any questions you wish to raise with the BID, please contact the team at info@harrogatebid.co.uk

Yours sincerely,

Sara Ferguson
Acting BID Chair

Welcome Jo and Dawn

We are delighted to welcome two new members to the BID team – Jo Caswell and Dawn Gennery. Jo is our first ‘Harrogate Host’, and it’s her role to be the BID’s eyes and ears on the ground.

Jo, left, will be the visible face of the BID and a point of contact for businesses and visitors to the town. She will also liaise with our partners at North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire Police to help reduce incidents of litter and anti-social behaviour.

Dawn is our new Project Administrator, and will provide support to Acting Manager, Simon Kent. Over the coming weeks and months, Dawn will be introducing herself to BID members and levy payers in person, as well as answering queries as and when they arise.

Jo can be contacted at jo.caswell@HarrogateBID.co.uk

Lighting up Harrogate this Christmas

One thing that can be guaranteed in these uncertain times is that this year’s Christmas lights will shine brighter than ever before.

Harrogate BID has appointed lighting experts, Gala Lights, who will be putting up displays all over the town centre, including streets that have not had any before.

The lights, which will be switched on in mid-November, will be strung between buildings, wrapped around lampposts and housed in a number of trees, including ones in front of the cenotaph.

There will also be an illuminated tunnel on the Piazza in front of Victoria Shopping Centre.

Harrogate BID Interim Manager Simon Kent said: “For a number of years Harrogate’s annual Christmas lights have been funded by donations from local businesses and individuals, match-funded by Harrogate Borough Council.

“The appeal was launched on Stray FM and raised tens-of-thousands-of-pounds each and every year, with the switch on taking place live on radio with stars from Harrogate Pantomime playing leading roles.

“Whilst none of that will be happening this year for obvious reasons, Harrogate’s Christmas lights will shine brighter than ever and be a reason for people to come into town during the festive season to shop, eat and drink.”

James Street Pedestrianisation Update

Thank you to all those businesses who either replied to our email or spoke to our Host, Jo, about pedestrianising James Street. Your comments helped formulate our response to Harrogate Borough Council.

We understand HBC is now to ask colleagues at North Yorkshire County Council for a partial road closure, from Princes Street to Station Parade, which will be implemented between 9.30am and 4.30pm, for a trial period.

BID Board elections to be held next month

Elections for places on the Harrogate BID Board of directors will be held next month.

A full timetable of the process – and how interested parties can stand for election – will be sent to all BID levy payers and BID members in the coming two weeks, as well as being posted on the BID website.

Harrogate BID is looking for business leaders with a real can-do attitude and have a bold vision for the future of the town, ones who will devote at least two hours a week to BID activities, including attending regular board meetings and participating in working groups.

BID flower-powers ahead with boosting town’s floral displays

Harrogate’s town centre floral displays are to be given a boost in the coming weeks with the awarding of a contract to add to what HBC already provides.

This will see the installation of 127 barrier baskets around the town, special displays on Beulah Street and large planters outside 20 businesses and shops. We are also hopeful that we can work with a local charity who will maintain an area within the BID district.

Harrogate BID Interim Manager Simon Kent said:

Harrogate’s reputation for being a floral town is known far and wide. Over the decades it it has won many national and international accolades for its stunning gardens and flower beds. Harrogate Borough Council’s parks and gardens team do a fantastic job and we are looking forward to working alongside them and helping to ensure the town continues to wear its floral crown with increased pride.

North Yorkshire Devolution

If you’ve not yet had a chance to familiarise yourselves with the subject of North Yorkshire Devolution, we have a special section on our website, which can be found here.

Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce’s most recent meeting was devoted to the subject, and heard representations from North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, who have differing views on how the county should be administered post this local government shake up

The meeting was covered by The Stray Ferret and its report can be read here.

Join the Harrogate Gift Card Scheme

Hopefully you will have seen or heard about our recent Harrogate Gift Card campaign, which featured in the Harrogate Advertiser, Yorkshire Post, social media and on Stray FM.

More than 100 businesses are currently signed up to the scheme, with more coming on by the week. It is free to join and entails no additional on-costs.

Further information about how you can join is available at: https://harrogategiftcard.co.uk/

Year’s free membership of ShopAppy for qualifying businesses

The York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub is giving eligible businesses across the region 12-months free membership to the online, community-led shopping platform, ShopAppy.com

This opportunity gives independent businesses a way to start trading again while maintaining safety. Set up takes limited technical know-how, and comprehensive support will be available from Growth Hub advisors and the ShopAppy team to help businesses get up and running quickly.

The online marketplace supports shopping locally, even if customers have to stay at home. They also have the convenience of buying goods from multiple shops in one place, while supporting the local economy.

More information and details on how to get started are available at: https://www.ynygrowthhub.com/how-we-can-help/12-months-shopappy-membership/