Initiatives to make Harrogate town centre more vibrant and welcoming during 2022 will be unveiled at our AGM today.

Today’s meeting is being held at 11am at the town’s Crown Hotel, and will be led by our Chair, Sara Ferguson, who was re-elected at last week’s first BID meeting of the new year.

In addition to looking back at the past 12-month’s activity, a section will be dedicated to the year ahead, and a flavour of what will be happening over the coming weeks and months.

These include a high-profile ‘HasToBeHarrogate’ promotional campaign, high quality street entertainment, more cleaning and weeding, and the deployment of a Street Ranger.

With The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee being marked in early June – and the country being given two days off to celebrate this magnificent milestone – plans are being drawn up to ensure Harrogate makes the most this four-day holiday.

Sara said: “The good news is that we are going to do more to make Harrogate even more appealing, giving locals and visitors plenty of reasons to ‘pop into town’ time and time again.

“This month our Street Ranger, whose main remit is to keep the town centre looking spick and span, will make his official debut. So, look out for him and his branded electric vehicle complete with jet washer.

“Our street cleansing crew will be back in March for the first of four major cleaning and weeding sessions, and ensuring Harrogate looks fresh and clean in time for the Easter holiday.

“Our barrier baskets and planters will again be giving Harrogate a vibrant burst of colour and clearly demonstrating why it is renowned as a floral town.”

Sara added that BID would be working in partnership with LoyalFree to create a series of ‘shop local’ campaigns, aimed at promoting Harrogate as Yorkshire’s number destination to ‘shop, eat and drink’.

And whilst Covid had limited what it could do in terms of on-street entertainment last year, we will be showcasing some wonderful home-grown theatrical talent, who will be performing in the town centre over a series of weekends throughout the year.

She added: “Making a welcome return this summer is the Harrogate Lego Trail – and the good news is we will be adding to the unique Harrogate models, which last year included Bettys and The Turkish Baths.

“A ‘HasToBeHarrogate’ promotional campaign will shine a light on our superb businesses and unique features that set Harrogate apart from any other town.

“On the back of the success of the Christmas Fayre, we are looking at hosting a series of pop-up markets, each with a different offering and appeal.

“And keep your eyes peeled for more street art. Such have been the comments of the mural now adorning the side of Monsoon on Cross James Street, we are seeking out other areas that could do with a creative makeover.

“We are looking at ways in which we can help businesses save money, which again will include some form of grant scheme.

Last year, we worked in partnership with a variety of different organisations, be it giving business a stronger voice, supporting efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town, providing free parking or sponsoring a variety of events, and this year we intend to continue this approach.”