High street clean up plans on hold

Knaresborough High Street
Knaresborough High Street

A council plan to improve the appearance of Knaresborough High Street has been put on hold after a row erupted over the publicly funded plans.

Harrogate Borough Council’s (HBC) Economic Development Unit has put on ice plans for “shopjackets” in some empty shops on the High Street after some residents and councillors objected to the plans.

A public meeting will now be held to find out whether the scheme – which would see 3D vinyl images installed in empty shop windows and could cost around £4000 for two sites – is welcome in Knaresborough.

But a decision cannot be made until after today’s county council elections, and economic development officers from HBC have told Knaresborough councillors they will not authorise money being spent in the town if the scheme is not supported.

The proposals were discussed at a town council meeting on Monday, April 22 with some councillors arguing shop landlords should be forced to pay for maintenance and upkeep at the scruffy buildings, and should market the buildings to potential business owners.

And the debate has moved onto social media with long discussions on Knaresborough’s Official Business page on Facebook over whether HBC should fund the schem or look to volunteers to sprice up the town centre.

The public meeting about the shopjacket proposals, organised by Renaissance Knaresborough, will take place on Friday, May 10 at 7pm, at Knaresborough House.