Independents win in Harrogate BID board elections

Harrogate's independent traders are set to have a major voice on the board of the town's key business group battling to save the high street.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 10:56 am
A voice for the independents - Independent Harrogate's William Woods and Robert Ogden on James Street in Harrogate.
A voice for the independents - Independent Harrogate's William Woods and Robert Ogden on James Street in Harrogate.

Yesterday's results of the board elections for Harrogate Business Improvement District in its first AGM showed that there will be a new board for 2020, on which 13 out of the 15 spaces have been filled.

Held at Hotel du Vin in Harrogate, in advance of the meeting pressure group Independent Harrogate was hoping some of its 170-plus members would feature prominently among the new BID directors and they have, indeed, been successful.

Independent Harrogate member William Woods of the fine linen shop on Station Parade said: "I am delighted that we have a much better representation on the BID board and we can now go forward promoting Harrogate based on ‘Quality not mediocrity’ with much more accountability and transparency.

"Hopefully, the new BID act as a catalyst bringing all factions in town together."

Speculation has been growing over the future of John Fox, the man who originally masterminded the formation at the start of the year of Harrogate BID which is expected to raise more than £3m from a levy on qualifying town centre businesses in order to revive the town centre in an era of empty retail units.

The Harrogate Advertiser has been told unofficially that Mr Fox, the BID chairman, may now step down from the board as it heads in a more independent direction in the future.