Harrogate BID points to town's strengths but raises fears over shoplifting and anti-social behaviour
and live on Freeview channel 276
While some are hoping for tax cuts from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt when he unveils his tax and spending plans in the House of Commons next week, Matthew Chapman said while Harrogate’s economic outlook remained relatively bright, more needed to be done about anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.
"Harrogate is certainly not immune to the ongoing challenges” said Mr Chapman.
"But we are seeing evidence that footfall in our town is at a confident level, vacancy rates on the high street are well below the national average and overall spend is growing year on year.
"The main challenges are around anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.
"Both are at an all-time high nationally with retail and hospitality announcing a shocking number of stock losses and serious threats to staff members.
The other challenges facing businesses in Harrogate, Mr Chapman added, include the still rising costs based around suppliers, materials, staffing and energy.
But the business manager for Harrogate Business Improvement District also pointed to several positive signs for the financial health of the town including accommodation occupancy being resilient, investors showing interest in Harrogate and professional services increasing in number with more bringing their staff back to the office full time.
With a major festive campaign in the town centre planned by Harrogate BID working with its partners to boost footfall just round the corner and big plans in the pipeline for 2024, he said the future still looked bright for Harrogate.
"Christmas 2023 looks set to be one of the best yet," said Mr Chapman.
"We have key impactful 2024 events growing in quality, new conferences emerging that will add strength to our economy and an ever-growing hunger to deliver Harrogate as the jewel in Yorkshire’s crown.
"Harrogate BID is primed and ready to deliver and be the voice for our town.”
More information at: https://harrogatebid.co.uk/