Harrogate indies enjoy boost from national TV exposure

When Channel 5's series about Harrogate's Christmas celebrations aired this week with more than one million viewers, businesses hoped the national exposure would attract new visitors to the town.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 2:15 pm
Updated Monday, 18th December 2017, 2:20 pm
The Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate Coun Anne Jones, chairman of Harrogate at Christmas John Fox and President of Rotary Club of Harrogate Graham Saunders with overall winners Geogina Collins and Laura Livingstone of Bijouled with guests Mike Thompson, Ruth Sprowell and Carla Wise. (1711162AM18).

And now, just one week on, some of our independents are already reporting a surge of interest in their businesses and their Christmas shop windows, which was a major focus of the Harrogate: A Great Yorkshire Christmas documentaries.

TV crews closely followed the journey of retailers entering the town’s Christmas shop window competition, and this year it was ladies boutique Bijouled on Parliament Street who were crowned overall winners with their beautiful display.

The national TV attention has already had an exciting impact for them, with many visitors to the shop saying they had decided to come and see them specifically after watching the series.

Owner Georgina Collins said: “We were delighted to have the fantastic opportunity to take part in the Channel 5 programme. It was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time to watch the programme and we hope that it brings lots of visitors to Harrogate to view the Christmas lights and shop windows.”

The chairman of Harrogate at Christmas, Coun John Fox, said: “We hope the Channel 5 programmes will encourage even more viewers to visit our town in the future.

“Viewers will have seen the Harrogate businesses and volunteers working together to prepare our fantastic town for Christmas, and all the hard work that goes into it.”

Another focus of the series was all the time and effort that goes into making the town’s Christmas lights switch-on happen. It showed the How Big Is Your Bauble fundraiser organised by the Harrogate at Christmas Group and Stray FM, which secures thousands in just one day each year.

There was also a spotlight on Harrogate College, whose fine art students were commissioned to design a Christmas sculpture, and it was Gabriel Spencer who had the winning design. His work, nicknamed the cube, stands on Station Parade.