I began last month’s newsletter by saying farewell Matt and hello Simon! Well, this month, it’s hello again Matt!
Yes, for those of you don’t know by now, Matt is back. Having had a change of heart he decided to rescind his resignation and carry on where he left off. So, I’m very pleased to say it’s business as usual.
This Friday Harrogate becomes ‘Destination Christmas’, and the BID is well and truly playing its part – namely funding the Christmas lights and free parking, plus sponsoring The North Pole Post Office, Father Christmas Experience and Candy Cane Express.
And whilst all this is going on we are busy writing our annual report and preparing for our annual general meeting, which is being held at 5.30pm on Thursday, January 19, 2023, so please save the date. Further details, including the venue, will be published in next month’s newsletter.
In the meantime, wishing you all a very happy Christmas.
Sara Ferguson BID Chair
‘Free After Three’ is back
Harrogate BID is again funding free festive parking to help attract shoppers and revellers into the town centre this Christmas and New Year.
Starting this week – and running through to Thursday, January 5 – the organisation is providing free parking between 3pm and 7.30pm in the town’s Victoria Car Park on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The aim of the ‘free after three’ is to encourage visitors to the town centre to shop, eat and drink during the quieter days of the week, helping support Harrogate’s retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors.
Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “Once again, we are delivering on our pledge to retailers to provide free parking in the town centre during the run up to Christmas, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods in their calendar.
For those town centre retailers who have entered this year’s Christmas Shop Window Competition, the wait is almost over!
For tomorrow the judges from Harrogate BID and The Rotary Club of Harrogate will be visiting all participating businesses to decide the winners and runners up in each category.
The awards ceremony is being held next Tuesday, at The West Park Hotel, and we look forward to meeting the participating businesses and presenting the trophies.
Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson said: “Once again it’s been great to partner with the Rotary Club of Harrogate for this annual festive competition, and I’m delighted to say this year we have had a bumper crop of entries.
“All those who have entered are to be congratulated for the efforts, and thanks to our retailers, Harrogate is looking terrific, and in my view the overall winner is Harrogate town centre.”
Be a local hero this Christmas, reward with the Harrogate Gift Card!
Are you thinking about how to reward and say thank you to your employees, volunteers or clients this Christmas? How about a reward that supports local and also has great choice?
The Harrogate Gift Card is the perfect reward that supports local businesses this Christmas and keeps spend locked in locally. With the cost-of-living crisis that we are facing, it is more important than ever to support local this year.
The Harrogate Gift Card can be spent in over 100 businesses in Harrogate Town Centre, including bars, restaurants, shops, hotels, cafés and many, many more!
The Harrogate Gift Card can only be spent physically, in businesses in Harrogate (participating businesses only) meaning the money spent stays in the local economy.
Harrogate’s North Pole Post Office reopens for 2022
The North Pole Post Office is back in business, well in time for children to post letters to Father Christmas.
The popular festive attraction is once again located at Harrogate International Festivals’ office, on Cheltenham Parade, and will remain open until Christmas Eve.
Funded by Harrogate BID and produced and delivered by Harrogate International Festivals, The North Pole Post Office features snow flurries, Christmas music, and the all-important post box.
The Christmas attraction began in 2020 as a way of lifting spirits of children and adults alike in during the second national Covid lockdown.
Its success led to its return last year, and following a similar response, is back again for a third year.
BID Levy Payers invited to Chamber’s December Business Safari
Harrogate BID Levy Payers are being invited to dust off their business cards and polish their sales pitch for a special end of year networking event to which they have been invited
Taking place from 5.30pm to 8pm on Monday December 12 at Harrogate Ladies College, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce’s Business Safari is the business equivalent of speed dating, and an opportunity to introduce your enterprise to scores of business owners and representatives.
Doors to the event open at 5.30pm for informal networking with the Business Safari starting at 6.15pm.”
There will be a 15-minute break at 7pm when a light buffet will be served. The meeting is exclusive to Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce and Harrogate BID Levy payers.
If you wish to attend, please email email@example.com before Thursday, December 8.
Winners and losers with outcome of Government’s business rates review
Harrogate businesses owners and landlords are now able to discover what the rateable value of their properties from April 1, 2023.
Whilst welcoming the review – which Harrogate BID has repeatedly called for – its Chair Sara Ferguson warned there were winners and losers, but for those whose valuations had risen, it didn’t necessarily mean they would pay business rates.
Sara said: “For a number of years, Harrogate BID has been asking the government to review business rates, and I’m really pleased this has now happened.
“Looking at the website, it appears that the majority of the business have seen their business rates reduced, which will be a relief to many, particularly with the rise in fuel, raw materials and energy costs.
“And for those that have seen their rate rise, those at the lower end of the scale will still benefit from rate relief, with plenty of small business not paying anything at all.”
BID Cleaning Crew Ensures Town Sparkles this Christmas
Harrogate BID’s cleaning crew has been steam-cleaning and power washing ‘grot spots’ across the town centre, ensuring Harrogate sparkles this Christmas.
Areas the cleaning crew targeted included Parliament Street, Cambridge Crescent, Oxford Street, James Street, John Street, Albert Street and Station Square.
The work of the cleaning team, from UK Nationwide Cleaning, compliments the efforts of Street Ranger, Chris Ashby, whose daily regime includes power-washing, weeding, painting and litter-picking.
Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson said: “In our very first business survey, our Levy payers put cleanliness of the town high on the list of priorities for the BID to tackle.
“From day one we took this on board, and thanks to both Street Ranger Chris, and our cleaning contractors, we continue to act on our pledge to make Harrogate not just clean, but welcoming, safe and accessible for all.”