Harrogate BID (Business Improvement District) has published its response to the adapted proposals for the Harrogate Station Gateway Project.

In a joint statement from BID Chair Dan Siddle and BID Manager Matthew Chapman the business led organisation announced:

Whilst we accept the Station Gateway Project has been a divided subject we believe, after consulting with sector representatives within the BID membership, that the project should now proceed. The local authority has listened to the concerns raised, adapted the project to a plan that works for the majority and given assurances that the finished product will further enhance the Harrogate welcome and experience. We have further welcomed direct contact from Cllr Keane Duncan, executive councillor for highways at North Yorkshire Council, who has provided a key line of communication throughout this round of consultation. Cllr Duncan has also worked with businesses and property owners direct to implement the changes requested such as Station Parade remaining as two lanes, plans for James Street removed and the aspirations for spaces such as One Arch and Station Square championed.

This level of investment to town and city centres is a once in a generation opportunity that Harrogate BID feels would be amiss to reject. Looking at the data that demonstrates how and where town centres are heading the Station Gateway Project will be the foundation of many more centrally funded projects that keeps Harrogate as a key destination for residents and tourists alike.

As an organisation we must stress we do not see this project as anti-car or pro-cycling, purely one which will give people more choice on how they wish to travel to and move around our town. Furthermore, this funding, which has to be used towards this gateway scheme has earmarked some fundamental and positive improvements to public realm that we fully support if, as promised, is finished to a first-class standard.

We look forward to continuing to be involved in this and other developments where we can represent the business community in a collaborative but factual manner.