Welcome to our December Newsletter

And just like that Christmas was over! But the efforts of not only the BID team, but of our partners at Harrogate Borough Council and Visit Harrogate, will, we hope, be remembered for a very long time to come.

The comments we continue to receive from businesses and visitors alike is that the town centre never looked so ‘Christmassy’, and more importantly it was busy. Fundamental to this success was the adoption of a partnership approach, where all parties involved worked together to ensure Harrogate was ‘Destination Christmas’.

Now we look forward, admittedly with some trepidation, to the New Year – and just what does 2022 has in store for us? First up is our AGM, taking place on Thursday, January 13, which all BID Company Members are invited to. And fingers crossed we will be able to hold it in person, and not online!

For those unable to attend, our annual report will be published very soon, and within it you will be able to see what we have achieved over the last 12 months, as well as outlining the exciting plans we have in place for the coming year.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do get in touch via email, at info@harrogatebid.co.uk and here’s to a prosperous, happy and healthy 2022.

Yours sincerely


Sara Ferguson
BID Chair

‘Naughty Elf’s’ Christmas charity boost

On Christmas Eve, we were delighted to hand over a cheque for £450 to Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity.

Ison Harrison Solicitors, who have just opened an office on Albert Street, kindly sponsored the Naughty Elf’s workshop in the Victoria Shopping Centre, and shoppers were asked to throw any loose change they had into the elf’s money sack.

Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to the team at Ison Harrison for their sponsorship, and to all those who gave so generously. It’s great that we have been able to give some festive financial cheer to Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity.”

Pictured from left are Ison Harrison Partner Shaun Hulme, Harrogate BID Host Jo Caswell, Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity Fundraiser Georgia Hulme and Harrogate BID Marketing Assistant Holly Dale.

Congratulations to the Christmas Shop Window Competition Winners
Congratulations to the winners of the Harrogate Christmas Shop Window Competition.

Thirty-two shops took part and Foxy Antiques & Interiors, located at the bottom of Commercial Street, was named as the overall winner

Bettys, on Parliament Street, was the winner in the large shops category, The Yorkshire Soap Company, on James Street, won the medium shops category, and Foxy Antiques & Interiors was the winner in the small shops category.

The Rotary Club of Harrogate organized and carried out the judging, which involved 13 Rotarians, some with wives, two Soroptimists, and representatives from the Harrogate BID, who were supporting the competition

Graham Saunders, who organized the judging on behalf of the Rotary Club, said: “We were delighted to be able to run the competition in the way we have done for a number of years. About half the shops were entering for the first time.

“The Judges could see the effort that had gone into the window displays. Harrogate is lucky to have so many independent shops who enjoy taking part in the competition”.

Sara Ferguson, Chair of Harrogate BID said: “I’ve never seen Harrogate looking so festive, and a big part of this down to the efforts of our town centre businesses.

“I’d like to thank the Rotary Club of Harrogate for once again organizing this annual competition, and to the shops who took part.

“We hope that members of the public will want to view the winning and highly commended windows when they are next in Town. To assist with this, we have created a Christmas Shop Window trail on our LoyalFree app.” she said.

Coun Trevor Chapman, Mayor of Harrogate. John Fordyce, President of the Rotary Club of Harrogate and Sara Ferguson, Chair of the BID, handed out the certificates and congratulated the winning and highly commended shops.

Results; Retail Shops in Harrogate Town Centre
Overall Winner: Foxy Antiques & Interiors, 27 Commercial Street
Large Shop Winner: Bettys Café Tea Rooms, 1 Parliament Street
Highly Commended: Weetons Food Hall, 23/24 West Park
West Park Hotel, 19 West Park
Mama Doreen’s Emporium, 9 – 11 Station Square
Medium Shop Winner: The Yorkshire Soap Company, 1 James Street
Highly Commended: Helen James Flowers, 63 Station Parade Montpellier Jewellers, 12 Monpellier Mews
Prey Four Ltd, 33 Swan Road
Small Shop Winner: Foxy Antiques & Interiors, 27 Commercial Street
Highly Commended: Sophie Likes, 36 Beulah Street
Susie Watson Designs, 2 Montpellier Gardens
Bijouled, 50 Parliament Street

Harrogate BID Annual General Meeting is being held on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at The Crown Hotel.

The meeting, which startsd at 11am, is open to BID Company Members.

Your ideas welcomed
We are always keen to hear from our Levy Payers and Members, particularly if they have ideas and suggestions which will benefit the town centre environment for residents, visitors, employers and employees alike.

Please contact us on info@harrogatebid.co.uk

Team work made Harrogate ‘Destination Christmas’ 
Unlike last year, when Covid restrictions played havoc with festive celebrations, Christmas 2021 will be remembered for the right reason.

And key to the success of the Destination Christmas campaign, spearheaded by Visit Harrogate, was the adoption of a partnership approach.

This saw Visit Harrogate, Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate BID working together to deliver key elements of the campaign, including the Christmas Fayre, Christmas Lights, Candy Cane Express, Helter Skelter, Ferris Wheel and Victorian Carousel, free parking, The Father Christmas Experience and the Christmas Shop Window Competition, run in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Harrogate, and the North Pole Pot Office!

Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “When it was announced that the organisers of the Christmas Market hadn’t been granted a licence to stage their event on Montpellier Hill, a number of businesses were concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time to organise an alternative.

“However, any fears were allayed when it was revealed what would actually be taking place in the town centre – and instead of a market being held over four days, the replacement Christmas Fayre would be staged over 12 days!

“Harrogate BID is really proud of the part it played in delivering what many consider to be the best Christmas offering for many years. The Christmas Lights, which covered a bigger area than last year, are our single biggest annual cost.

“It was a great team effort and one that was well received by businesses and visitors alike.”

Harrogate BID sponsors ‘Sunday Freeway’ free journeys

The ‘Sunday Freeway’ free journeys on the electric buses, run by The Harrogate Bus Company, will resume from Sunday, 2 January 2022 and continue every Sunday throughout January and February, thanks to Harrogate BID.

The latest initiative is part of the continued partnership between the town’s main bus operator and Harrogate BID run-up to Christmas in previous years, as well as the start of 2021.

Harrogate BID chair and business owner Sara Ferguson said: “Once again we are delighted to be teaming up with The Harrogate Bus Company for the next two months to sponsor the ‘Sunday Freeway’.

“This is the third time we have partnered with our local bus operator, and on both previous occasions it helped to increase the number of passengers heading into Harrogate town centre. This year, we have chosen January and February, which can be quiet months for the retail and hospitality sectors. Harrogate town centre is well worth a visit at any time of the year, and we hope the added incentive of free bus travel will make it even more appealing.”

Harrogate BID’s sponsorship of free Sunday journeys in the run-up to Christmas 2019 helped the Harrogate Electrics buses generate a rise of up to 90 per cent in the number of customers travelling, compared with the same period a year earlier.

The Harrogate Bus Company CEO Alex Hornby said: “We’re delighted that Harrogate BID are able to again work in partnership with us to support our ‘Sunday Freeway’ on our Harrogate Electrics buses for the first two months of the New Year.

“As well as reducing emissions and congestion, free Sunday travel on our pioneering Harrogate Electrics buses will make it easier to support our local economy and help keep our town’s traders in business into 2022. Our buses are among the safest places to be, with an enhanced cleaning regime in place to keep everyone safe.

“It’s been an incredibly challenging time for Harrogate’s businesses, with previous lockdowns and now the prospect of further restrictions. More than ever, it’s now up to us all to support them in the vital first few months of the New Year by taking advantage of free travel on Harrogate Electrics buses.”