Since last year, we have been working alongside data firm HUQ to not only measure the success of our events, campaigns and services, but to support planning as we move further into our second term in Harrogate.

As a Business Improvement District (BID), it’s vital to us that we continue to ensure our town has the best offer possible. Working with partners such as HUQ allows us to do delve deeper with our analysis and to work towards achieving bigger and better outcomes with our objectives and overall Business Plan.

What is HUQ and how does it work?

The HUQ figures allow us to observe different data sets within the set BID area, measuring footfall, density, granular catchment and dwell time over specified time periods.

A new data set titled ‘Demographics’ has also been added onto as HUQ dashboard, which allows us to see the split of the age groups and genders of visitors to the BID area.

The HUQ team suggest that the data covers 98% of the population, obtaining the figures using a person’s mobile phone signal and location services on various apps.

Different factors can sometimes impact on the HUQ data, from weather and school holidays to traffic levels and road closures. So, it’s also important to consider this when looking at the data, especially when breaking it down to daily records rather than over a longer period of time.

So, let’s take a further look into each aspect of the data…


The footfall data allows us to view the number of unique people within the BID area each day. Each person can only be tracked once every 24 hours, so if someone exits and re-enters the area within the same day they will only be recorded once.

We often use the footfall data as one aspect of measuring the success of the events we organise. It can be broken down to allow us to see daily figures as well as monthly. We can then use this to compare it to previous years or when we have held past events to see if there has been either an increase or decrease in footfall.

For example, looking at May 2024, we can see that the total footfall for the month was 1,304,703, with the highest daily footfall recorded on Tuesday, May 21st when 66,187 unique visitors passed through the BID area. Meanwhile, the lowest footfall was recorded on Wednesday May 1st and Wednesday May 15th, 21,217 unique visitors passed through the BID area on each of these dates.

Saturday May 18th, the date we hosted this year’s Harrogate Celebration of Fashion, was also among the dates with the highest number of daily visitors at 60,419.

Although the footfall data is very useful, it’s important to remember that it should not be used at a ‘busyness’ metric, as thousands of people in one location in just an hour could feel very busy, but the same amount of people spread over 24 hours may feel less populated.


The data recorded for density purposes allows us to track the movement of people around the BID area to see which areas we should record as ‘hot spots’ and which are visited less often.

These figures then create a map allowing us to view the most frequently visited sites, again supporting with our planning and organisation of events and campaigns. The higher the density within a certain area, the lighter shade of red it is shown on the map created by the data. Meanwhile, the less dense areas are shown in a darker shade of green.

Looking at the figures for May 2024, areas marked in red include Parliament Street near the cenotaph and Betty’s, Cambridge Street and near to the bus station and along Station Parade towards York Place on the outskirts of the BID area.

Granular Catchment

The granular catchment data enables us to see where visitors to the BID area have travelled from. Home locations are organised at a district level, which is then used to create a visualisation on a map of the UK to see where they have come from and how far they have travelled.

This data can be broken down monthly and helps us to create target areas for us to try and focus on during our planning. An example of how we see the granular catchment figures on our dashboard can be seen as the main image for this blog.

The HG postcodes mostly populate the top end of the list, with HG1 often taking top spot for most of the months of the year. But, as we move down the list, we begin to see where visitors have come from to see the fantastic offer in our town.

If we look back at May 2024, we can see visitors travelled from as far as Leicester, Holt in Norfolk, Walthamstow and Ruislip in London, and Mansfield to pay us a visit in the BID area.

It’s very interesting to see where people are coming to Harrogate from and we are often surprised by postcodes from across the UK, from high up in Scotland to the south coast of England!

Dwell Time

These figures allow us to see how long people are spending within the BID area on average per visit. Using this, we can see which days of the week people spend the most time in the town centre each month, which again supports us with planning as we can focus on certain days depending on the month the event is held in.

Using the data from last month, we can see that visitors spent the longest time in the BID areas on a Monday, with an average of 2 hours and 10 minutes. A Saturday was in second at 1 hour 52 minutes, while visitors spent the least amount of time in the BID area on a Wednesday with an average of 1 hour and 4 minutes.

After speaking with team members from different BIDs, we have been told that our dwell time is significantly higher than others, which is definitely a positive sign as visitors are spending more time checking out the town centre and the business offer!


The Demographics allows us to observe different aspects of visitors to the BID area, including age groups and gender.

The age figures are split into four different categories, making up age groups from 15 to 60 and over. Using this data, over the last year we can see that people over the age of 60 most frequently pass through the BID area, with people aged from 15 to 29 visiting the least.

The demographic figures also split the visitors by gender. On our dashboard the split is very close, with 50.8% female visitors and 49.2% male.

Find out more…

If you would like to view any of the above data within the BID area over a specified time period, please email our team on for more information.

Alternatively, we also feature a monthly update on HUQ in our BID Newsletter. To sign up for this, please email us on the above address.