Council seeks residents’ thoughts on town centre

kna  Knaresborough High Street.  (140117M2h)
kna Knaresborough High Street. (140117M2h)

Knaresborough business owners and councillors met to discuss the future of the town centre last week.

Following a raft of shop closures, Knaresborough town council’s economy committee met with representatives from businesses, Renaissance Knaresborough, the Chamber of Trade and Harrogate Borough Council’s Economic Development Unit.

Kathryn Daly, strategic development manager at Harrogate Borough Council, said: “We are encouraged by the pro-activeness and interest people are taking.

“It is great to see people in the town taking action to improve their town - and they want to improve things.”

The committee met last Thursday (February 20) to discuss creating a strategic action plan for the town centre businesses.

Committee chair, Coun Andy Wright, said: “We are keen to improve the town for everyone.

“We need to look at what is normal in other market towns, what other places have that we might not and encourage those types of businesses to come to Knaresborough.”

Mayor of Knaresborough, Coun Carole Reid, attended the meeting and said she had spoken to many young mums who would like to see a wider selection of shops.

She said: “We need a strategy, we need to see what people in the town want and what we do well and what we can improve on.”

Town Coun Andrew Willoughby said: “The public will want us to interact with them and see what they want for the town.

“Hopefully we will attract shops that we do want and if there are shops the town don’t want opening, they won’t last very long.”

The committee decided to consult the public to see what the residents of Knaresborough think the town centre needs.

Plans for drop in sessions, an online suggestion box and suggestion boxes to be placed in venues around town were agreed upon, with the hope that the consultation will run for the next three months.

Coun Wright said he hoped the committee could develop a strategic action plan by Christmas this year.

l Has your business stood the test of time? Or are you bringing something new and innovative to Knaresborough High Street? We want to hear from you. Email or call 01423 564 321.

l See the Weekend section pages 15 to 25 for our Shop Local campaign launch.