Rooting for Harrogate gears up for August 1 judging day

Business leaders after the Rooting for Harrogate breakfast, pictured outside the Cedar Court hotel on Thursday
Business leaders after the Rooting for Harrogate breakfast, pictured outside the Cedar Court hotel on Thursday

More than 40 business leaders have given their support to the ‘Rooting for Harrogate’ campaign to see Harrogate crowned Champion of Champions in the elite category of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom awards.

At a breakfast meeting at the Cedar Court hotel on Thursday, they heard from a number of speakers including the Chairman of Visit Harrogate, Caroline Bayliss.

She said: “Harrogate doesn’t just happen. ‘Brand Harrogate’ is based on the elegance and style of our town supported by its floral and spa heritage. There is an army of people, including volunteers and businesses, who make it a place people want to live, work and visit.

“And Britain in Bloom is one of the elements that proves year after year that Harrogate wears the floral crown.”

It is events like winning Britain in Bloom that makes sure Harrogate gets more than its fair share of visitors which clearly demonstrates there is a commercial value to the In Bloom campaign.

Caroline added: “We are multi gold award winners regionally and nationally and Harrogate is the only town ever to have twice won Europe in Bloom. Wins like this support Harrogate Borough Council in its choice of generously budgeting for the Parks and Environmental Services Team in this time of tight council budgets.”

A range of ideas for business support was produced for the meeting and offers of help are flooding in, from simply displaying ‘Rooting for Harrogate’window stickers to fully decorating windows to plans for a ‘floral battle bus’, litterpicks, free photography, videos and virtual tours.

Other speakers at the breakfast included James Cain, managing director of Harrogate Water Brands, Pat Kilburn from Harrogate Council and the chairman of Harrogate in Bloom, Pam Grant.

The meeting was chaired by Jean MacQuarrie, the editor of the Harrogate Advertiser which is supporting the campaign

Harrogate is one of just seven towns in the country to have been chosen to enter Champion of Champions and the only town in Yorkshire.

The competition will be judged on August 1, which is Yorkshire Day.

Champion of Champions pits the best against the best. Harrogate will be up against Aberdeen, Elswick (Lancashire), Hillsborough (Ireland) Oldham (Greater Manchester), Portishead (South West) and St Peter Port Guernsey.

If any business would like to know more or pledge support they should email Lynne Mee, Publicity Officer, for Harrogate in Bloom at More details are available at