OPINION: Harrogate district is a thriving and attractive place to live, work and invest - Gemma Rio, Destination Harrogate

The allure of spring and all its splendour shone a spotlight on our wonderful attractions, experiences, places to eat and places to stay – heralding a positive and steady return of tourism. Blossoms are now beginning to fall and in doing so signal the launch of an exciting summer season across the Harrogate district.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 5:07 pm

The bar is set high for a fabulous series of events, from a series of family-friendly celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to the buzz of the Great Yorkshire Show, the exciting return of Harrogate Carnival and beyond.

While it’s a joy to behold the return of visitors after a challenging two years, we know that the Harrogate district offers so much more than a lovely place to have a holiday. It’s a thriving and attractive place to live, work and invest. The wellbeing qualities of our destination have wider appeal than to those wishing to take a restorative break here, they’re the attributes that underpin much of the district’s offer to new businesses and new investment.

Voted by The Times as the UK’s number one place to work from home in 2021, and more recently featured as one of the best places to live in 2022, Harrogate is highly attractive to businesses who are now placing an even greater focus on work-life balance in the wake of the pandemic.

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With many businesses now having moved to a permanent hybrid working model, Harrogate can draw on its strengths as a destination where good living in every sense supports stamina to adapt to change, and overcoming new challenges in a post-pandemic workplace.

Of course, it’s not just the prospect of an enviable lifestyle that motivates businesses to establish themselves somewhere new. Harrogate’s strategic geographical location - midway between London and Edinburgh, the west and east coast - is a tempting draw for the logistics sector especially, and it’s rewarding to see recognition of this with growing investment at the West of Harrogate Business Park on Burley Bank Road.

In the heart of Harrogate, Co-Lab is proving popular with businesses in the digital, tech and creative sector – offering light, bright offices; communal hot-desk facilities and on-hand expert support, including from Harrogate Borough Council’s Business Growth Managers.

Launched by the council in December 2021, this flexible workspace and business incubator is supporting and nurturing growing businesses that are keen to re-connect and collaborate on their start-up/scale-up journeys.

And with sustainable investment high on our agenda, we’re delighted that Harrogate 47, to the east of Knaresborough is set to become a key employment site for the district. This new sustainable development will deliver in excess of 600,000 sqft. of employment space, with the potential to support 2,000 jobs.

The Harrogate Station Gateway project will support visitors, residents and workers to make more sustainable travel choices in the town centre, through a £10.9m infrastructure investment funded through the Transforming Cities Fund.

We’re excited to be sharing these significant messages with potential new investors at the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum, UKREiiF, in Leeds this month.

Invest Harrogate will be attending the new networking event as part of the Invest York & North Yorkshire delegation, promoting the Harrogate district together with the wider region. Taking place on our doorstep, UKREiiF presents the ideal opportunity to exhibit to an international business community of more than 5000 potential investors from the UK and overseas.

It’s the perfect platform from which to highlight the district’s investment opportunities, and showcase why Harrogate is not just a pretty place but is perfectly positioned as the destination to be investing in right now.