So, the last bank holiday before Christmas has been and gone, and with the festive period on the horizon we are well and truly on with shaping our plans for this important time of the year for business.
Last year, Covid meant much of our planned activity was either scaled back or put on hold, so we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it won’t be repeated this Festive season.
And whilst we are naturally disappointed for the organisers of Harrogate Christmas Market that their event will not be taking place this year, we are keen to work alongside the company chosen by Harrogate Borough Council to deliver a Christmas Market, plus other partners, to ensure Harrogate sparkles this Christmas.
August has been an incredibly busy and productive month for us, and you can read about our activities – plus more – in the below newsletter.
Finally, my thanks go to the members of the Harrogate BID Board, who all give their time freely. They are constantly looking at ways in which the BID can help continue to help the town centre to flourish, and not just put it on the local map, but a regional and national one as well.
As ever, if you have any questions, please do get in touch via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Ferguson BID Chair
Floral displays looking ‘blooming’ marvellous
We hope you agree with us in saying Harrogate’s town centre floral displays are looking ‘blooming’ marvellous.
Building on the terrific work of the Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks and Gardens team, we have helped fund hundreds of additional baskets and shop front planters, which have added many jewels to Harrogate’s floral crown.
Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “Thanks to our Levy payers we have been able to add a real splash of colour to Harrogate town centre, and something that probably attracts more positive comments than anything else.”
Harrogate Beer Week – we’ll drink to that!
We are delighted to be supporting Harrogate Beer Week, which takes place from 20 – 26 September 2021.
It will present an inclusive, week-long, town-wide celebration of Harrogate beer, local brewing heritage, and beer in the community, inviting pubs, breweries, artists, musicians, cafes and restaurants to celebrate all things beer.
A programme of special events and initiatives will be hosted at bars, brewery taps, and eateries across Harrogate. The event will culminate in a big beer weekend in the town centre. Other features on the programme will include an ‘Indie Beer Trail’, live local music, and a home brewing competition, with some big names in UK beer heading to Harrogate to host a range of talks and tastings.
Last week we were asked to respond to a major story the Harrogate Advertiser was doing about staffing issues in the hospitality sector.
Below is what we said, and you can read the full article here.
Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson, who co-owns two town centre restaurants, said: “We are keen to ensure we do all we can to react to the problem as the town’s hospitality industry is incredibly important to the local economy.
“We have spearheaded a working group, including Harrogate College, Job Centre, Visit Harrogate, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, and BID members to identify a way forward in the short and long term.
“There is a fear that when schools and universities return next month, then the situation could well be exacerbated, particularly as the booming ‘staycation’ market looks set to continue well into the autumn.
“The town’s fabulous collection of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, bars and cafes is a major pull factor for visitors, and at the moment these businesses are nearly all fishing for staff from the same pool.
“Hospitality is not the only sector struggling for staff, retail is experiencing similar problems
“In addition to attracting visitors, we also need to attract workers to the town, but the lack of affordable housing is often seen as a barrier.”
Harrogate BID team carries our town centre weeding
Harrogate BID’s cleaning crew has been out and about in the town centre on weed removal duties.
For three nights in a row the contractors – who in spring cleansed much of the town centre ahead of the reopening of shops – pulled, dug and used herbicides on unwanted plants across a wide area of the town centre, including Victoria Avenue, Cambridge Street, Albert Street, Crescent Road and Oxford Street.
One of the remits of the Business Improvement District is to enhance the appearance of the town centre, which over the last 18 months has seen it power washing pavements and street furniture, increasing floral displays and wrapping empty shop windows.
Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “Because the weeds in the town centre being a major talking point, we asked our contractors to come in to help tackle the problem.
“The team worked for a number of nights pulling weeds by hand, using garden tools as well as spraying them with an environmentally-safe herbicide.
“With autumn and winter just around the corner, we hope this work will mean they are kept at bay until the spring.
“For our Levy payers, it’s imperative that Harrogate looks at its best at all times, and that’s what we are working hard to achieve.”
Cold Bath Brewing hosts September’s BID Club
Cold Bath Brewing’s Clubhouse on Kings Road is the venue for our September BID Club.
Being staged from 5pm on Thursday, September 9, representatives from three organisations working in collaboration to help and support vulnerable people in Harrogate will each give a short presentation.
These are Harrogate Street Aid, North Yorkshire Police and Harrogate Homeless Project.
It’s also an opportunity to network and meet BID Board members.
To book your place, please email email@example.com
Cross James Street mural finished
We are delighted to say the Cross Street mural created by artist Sam Porter, from Mural Minded, is now finished.Sam’s eye-catching artwork has been a real talking point and has have given what was a drab cut through from Market Place to James Street a real lift.
Christmas is coming
We know it’s many months away, but before we know it Christmas will be upon us.
Because of this, we are now finalising our festive programme which again will see us partnering with various organisations to ensure Harrogate sparkles at this magical time of year.
We hope to reveal our full programme next month.
Sporting initiative to be unveiled
Now have said goodbye to our summer Lego trail, this month will see us unveiling a new initiative with a sporting theme.
Being based in the Victoria Shopping centre, it’s another way of bringing people into the town centre.
All we can say at this stage is ‘keep you eye on the ball’, and look out for further announcements in the coming days.
Lego Trail – back next year!
We have received some fantastic comments about our three-week Lego Trail.
Thanks to stats from our LoyalFree app, we know that thousands of people – young and old – followed the trail around town, either fully or just part of it.
The two public build days were incredibly well attended, as participants helped create a giant white rose ahead of Yorkshire Day, which was displayed for the trail’s duration.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the businesses who hosted a model, and all being well it will return next year, and with more models unique to Harrogate!