Welcome to our April Newsletter

This month we have seen the reopening of outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail, and as the owner of two businesses it couldn’t come soon enough.

It’s wonderful walking around town seeing customers browsing shelves or sat outside having meals and drinks. And whilst it does feel like life is starting to return to normal, there is still some way to go before we can hopefully call an end to social distancing and the wearing of masks.

In this latest newsletter, we bring you up to speed about our new app and the launch of two town centre walks, designed to take residents and tourists around different parts of the BID area.

This month, we say goodbye to Simon Kent, and next week officially welcome Matthew Chapman as our new Manager. We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, and as we always, if you have any views or comments about how we can further improve the town centre, please do get in touch.

Yours sincerelySara Ferguson
BID Chair

BID sponsors Harrogate History walking trails

Harrogate BID has teamed up with The Stray Ferret and Harrogate historian Malcolm Neesam to create two fascinating history tours of the town centre.

As well as devising the routes and penning the script, Malcolm has voiced both walks, which are accessed via the news platform’s website.

Harrogate’s fame as a spa town boomed in the 19th Century, and The Golden Age of the Victorian Spa Walk tells the story of how it all began. Starting at Crescent Gardens, Malcolm leads participants around some of the town’s most impressive landmarks, including hotels, the Valley Gardens, and former grand treatment rooms.

The Heart of Harrogate Town Walk starts in Montpellier Gardens and Malcolm explains how the town centre, once open countryside, changed forever with an increase in visitor numbers and the arrival of the railways, paving the way for its commercial development.

Each walk takes about an hour to complete.

Harrogate Chair, Sara Ferguson, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring these two brilliant walks created by Malcolm Neesam, which brings the history of our town centre to life. And importantly for us, they take those on the tour to different parts of the town, where in addition to learning about Harrogate’s past, they will see Harrogate’s ‘now’ and the fabulous shops, bars attractions that make the town a superb destination to shop, eat and drink.

“It also fits nicely with the window graphics we are installing in empty shop units, where we feature well-known people who have a connection with Harrogate. Both these initiatives are designed to bring people into Harrogate and to instil a sense of pride in our wonderful town.”

Thank you Simon 

The end of this month will see interim BID manager Simon Kent hand over the reins to new  permanent manager, Matthew Chapman.

We would like to use this newsletter to thank Simon for not only agreeing to fill the void, but to pay tribute for all he has done.

Simon agreed to take on the role in a temporary capacity, just as the COVID pandemic took hold. And over the last 13 months, he has done a magnificent job, one that has helped establish Harrogate BID as a key organisation successfully promoting Harrogate as a must-visit destination to shop, eat and drink, and one that is taking care of the retail heart of the town.

Harrogate BID chair Sara Ferguson said: “I want to put on record the thanks of the entire Harrogate BID board for all that Simon has done for us. Simon has been a superb manager and stepped into the void when we needed him. He has given his heart and soul to the organisation.

“Simon’s passion for Harrogate has shone through in everything he has done over the last year. I’ve really enjoyed working with Simon, and I have greatly benefitted from his advice and experience. Whilst the last year has been incredibly challenging, Simon has ably steered us.”

New BID manager making the headlines

Whilst incoming BID manager Matthew Chapman doesn’t officially take office until Tuesday, he has already conducted interviews with the Harrogate Advertiser and the Stray Ferret.

If you missed them, you can read them here:

Harrogate Advertiser
Stray Ferret