A serious movement is growing in Harrogate across the board to do something tangible to make changes to the town centre.
Most business and local authority groups in Harrogate are now talking actively about working together for a common cause - countering the negative national trends on the high street.
As part of the growing pressure for town centre improvements and new ideas to support it, the Harrogate Advertiser is asking readers to complete our big Town Centre Survey.
The aim of our survey is to give enable the public to have their say on positive ideas to improve Harrogate town centre.
To make your voice heard, simply fill in our survey form and send it to us by Friday, August 24.
The results will be published in this newspaper and your views will also be presented to Harrogate Borough Council, the BID team, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce and Visit Harrogate.
One of the key stake holders in Harrogate’s current campain to become a BID (Business Improvement District) town is Harrogate Borough Council.
As well providing the ‘seed money’ to the BID bid which hopes to help Harrogate reman competitive, the council is keen to support Harrogate town centre and its businesses:
Included in the policies it has already introduced in this regard are:
Introduced a discretionary rate relief policy for Harrogate businesses in April.
Hosts major cultural and sporting events to increase visitor numbers.
Invests in Harrogate Convention Centre to attract visitors and business.
Introduced new town centre improvement rate relief for smaller business owners in Harrogate district looking to soup-up their premises.
Supports VisitHarrogate which aims to make the town attractive to visitors.
Irrespective of how the BID bid turns out, other key stakeholders are working to bring improvements to the town centre and its retail sector.
Visit Harrogate is keen to foster a sense of pride in Harrogate in the community by embracing social media.
Its chief executive is a big supporter of new online initiative #myHarrogate.
Pushed by Visit Harrogate’s myHarrogate page, the aim is to put visitor and local experiences at the heart of the stories we tell and the way we tell them with User Generated Content – all those Instagram and Twitter posts people share as they are here having fun.
And it seems to be working - the myHarrogate page is already proving popular.
Another key backer of BID, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, is pro-active on future strategies for the town centre.
President of the chamber, Steve Scarre said the chamber was supporting a wide range of possible improvements, including:
The creation of Harrogate’s first park and ride park to bring people into the town centre.
Using The Stray more for events with a purpose-built coach park for visitors.
Tidying up and refurbishing shop frontages and offering empty units at cheaper rents.
Creating a dedicated entertainments space on Station Parade in front of Victoria shopping centre.
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