The Harrogate BID column with John Fox

James White, manager of Victoria Shopping Centre and BID director; Elizabeth Murphy, BID manager and John Fox, Chair of Harrogate BID.
James White, manager of Victoria Shopping Centre and BID director; Elizabeth Murphy, BID manager and John Fox, Chair of Harrogate BID.

As you read this we have only two working days before Elizabeth Murphy, our new BID manager, commences her employment with us. Elizabeth is currently the BID manager for Wakefield. I look forward to welcoming her to the Harrogate team.

It will enable me to hand over the reins, as I have been both Interim BID manager and chair for the past four months.

The board of 10 directors continues working hard to set the business up and organise projects to benefit the businesses in the BID area.

Elizabeth is currently chair of the Association of Town and City Management Regional Committee for Night-time Economy. In Wakefield, Elizabeth has organised a number of initiatives to develop the night time economy and raise it to the ATCM’s ‘Purple flag’.

Elizabeth will now be starting work on developing plans for Harrogate for the autumn months. Harrogate has a successful night time economy with our numerous restaurants, bars, theatre, Royal Hall and Convention Centre.

We are working very closely with Harrogate Review to produce a regular magazine to promote the Harrogate businesses but also to be the ‘What’s On’ guide for both residents and visitors. The current edition features our four Quarters and some of the businesses that are doing something special.

The media and social media are quick with the bad news, so it is great when there is good news to report. Helen Pannitt, owner of Helen James Flowers on Prince Albert Row won Gold at the 2019 Chelsea Flower show. A few weeks ago we saw WAGYU, a new restaurant open in the former Jamie’s Italian property. Warrendale Farm, the owners, are farmers near Pocklington. This is their second restaurant, the other being in York and they will be using locally sourced produce.

Tonight, Weetons on West Park are launching their ‘Year Round Entertain and Gifting Range’.

We hear so much about the high business rates affecting our businesses.

In our latest newsletter we encourage businesses to use the Harrogate Borough Council website and simply type in ‘pay less business rates’.

This leads to a page providing excellent advice on both national and local business rates reliefs and what businesses should do to take advantage of them.

We continue to plan projects for our businesses. We aim to launch the Harrogate Gift Card in September.

The ‘Welcome to Harrogate’ series of banners on street lighting columns around the town will be launched early September to brighten the town just before the UCI cycling event.

Local businesses are very concerned about the nine-day cycling event and how it will affect their businesses. A lot of lessons were learnt from the Tour de France.

The team has now distributed the Residents Guide to all businesses in the town informing them of road closure timings.

The very busy days appear to be the first Sunday (September 22) and the last weekend (27 to 29 September). We will continue to ensure that more information is made available to businesses.

It is essential that visitors to the races have the opportunity of seeing our quality shops open throughout the event. We want visitors to enjoy their time at UCI and we also want them to come back to the town.