Column: Dan Siddle, Harrogate BID Chair - ​Facing the key issues that businesses raise

New Harrogate BID Chair, Dan SiddleNew Harrogate BID Chair, Dan Siddle
New Harrogate BID Chair, Dan Siddle
What a pleasure it is to be able to write this piece in my new role as Chair of Harrogate BID.​

​It’s only right that I start by thanking Sara Ferguson for the superb part she’s played as Chair for the past couple of years. I’m delighted that Sara is staying on the board as a director, and I’ll certainly be leaning on her knowledge and experience in the role whilst I find my feet!

A BID is a Business Improvement District, where businesses in a pre-determined area pay a percentage of their business rates as a levy, allowing the BID team to enhance the area for those businesses.

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The board represent the various sectors of business and ensure that the objectives and business plan are being followed.

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to welcome some new directors to the board, and that all existing directors are continuing for 2023 as well – stability mixed with some fresh ideas and new areas of expertise will only help to enhance the support we can give to the BID team.

Last week, we held our AGM allowing us to reflect on the past year and some of the wonderful things we’ve achieved across 2022.

Here are the five objectives and some highlights from last year, with more details of everything we do on our website, and in our Annual Report.

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Marketing, Promotions and Events – Queens Platinum Jubilee, street entertainment, and collaborating with Destination Harrogate on the wonderful Christmas offering we had in the town

Safe, Clean and Welcoming – Chris, our in-house street ranger, reacting to any issues of cleanliness for businesses, and deep cleans to further enhance this

Access and Car Parking – Sunday Freeway in collaboration with Harrogate Bus Company, and free parking to help bring more people into the town centre

Business Plus – the Harrogate Gift Card, which we’ve just announced has secured £100k of spend in the town

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Evening and Night-time Economy – supporting pubs and bars by sponsoring the Pubwatch scheme

Looking forward, this is a crucial year for us as an organisation as a BID’s term runs for five years, and to continue for a second term there will be a ballot of businesses later in the year.

I know that every single business in the BID area has benefitted in some way from the work we’ve done, and visitors and locals should have seen our impact as well.

In 2023, the BID team will be continuing to meet the five objectives, with bigger and better plans, as well as facing the key issues that businesses raise with us.

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At the moment that includes leading on work to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre and ensuring that businesses have a representative voice as HBC becomes part of the new North Yorkshire Council in a few months.

Everything we do as a board to support the BID, we’ll be doing with positive intentions to make Harrogate the best place to live, work and visit; and if you think we’re not, then please reach out to me!