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Creation of Harrogate BID under spotlight

A BID would see businesses pay a levy in addition to their business rates bill
A BID would see businesses pay a levy in addition to their business rates bill

The future of Harrogate town centre will come under the spotlight on Monday.

Harrogate District Chamber’s first meeting of 2018 will focus on the creation of a Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID).

Consultancy firm Mosaic will explain the process and timescale of creating a BID, and Chamber president Mike Procter, who also sits on the BID Board, will answer questions on progress to date.

Mr Procter said: “Times have never been tougher for retail businesses – we’ve seen hard evidence of that with a number of closures among independent and big-name shops in Harrogate over the last 12 months.

“While Harrogate isn’t alone in facing a difficult high-street trading environment, we need to continually improve what our town centre offers, both to locals and visitors, and ensure we’re doing all we can to help businesses thrive, both now and in the future.”

A BID is a defined area where business rate payers are charged a levy in addition to their business rates bill. The money raised is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.

Chamber chief executive Sandra Doherty said: “It’s only by working together on projects like a Harrogate BID that we can create positive change in Harrogate for the benefit of everyone – owners, employees and customers.”

The meeting will take place at the Old Swan Hotel on January 8, with informal networking from 5.30pm and official business from 6.15pm. Members and visitors can book online at www.harrogatechamber.co.uk