Harrogate BID has appointed Matthew Chapman as its new manager.

Matthew, who has spent the last six years promoting two major Yorkshire town and city centres and is the current Huddersfield manager, will start his new position on May 1.

His first role with a BID came in 2016, when he was appointed as Leeds BID operations manager. This saw him overseeing the day-to day management of the organisation and supervising its Street Rangers, Welcome Ambassadors and Evening Ambassadors.

In November 2019, Matthew was appointed Huddersfield’s BID manager, where he led on the organisation’s four key aims to increase footfall in the town. This included introducing a dedicated town centre app, interactive trails, street art project and a new destination website.

Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson said: “Matthew was the standout candidate in our recent recruitment drive for a new manager. He brings with him experience of working with two major Yorkshire BIDS.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Matthew as Harrogate comes back to life from COVID-19 lockdown number three. He has some fantastic ideas for promoting Harrogate as a must-visit destination.”

Sara added: “I’d also like to say a big thank you to Simon Kent, who stood in as our interim manager at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown a year ago. He has done a great job in promoting the town and supporting the businesses within it, and we are incredibly grateful to him for all he has done.”

Matthew Chapman, Harrogate BID’s new manager, said: “Harrogate is a fantastic town with so much to offer, and coming here as a regular visitor since my childhood, I know it well.

“Thanks to my roles with both Leeds BID and Huddersfield BID, I’ve gained a great deal of experience working with businesses, councils, tourism bodies and the police. Building teams and working with wider teams is a core strength of mine.

”I’m really looking forward to starting my new job helping to promote Harrogate as a wonderful destination to shop, eat and drink, and to ensure the town centre is clean, safe and welcoming to all.”

Matthew, who hails from York, is the father of two sons aged nine and 13. His main hobby and interest is Rugby League and has played the sport at a semi-professional level. He is the Chair of York Lokomotive Rugby League Football Club, and helps coach the junior sides. He is also a former Duke of Edinburgh awards leader and a qualified bricklayer.