Harrogate Lib Dem slams ruling adminstration for 'taking town for granted' after £20m hopes dashed
and live on Freeview channel 276
After today’s announcement that North Yorkshire Council had failed in its bid to win £20m in Government 'Levelling Up' funds towards a £49m redevelopment of Harrogate Convention Centre, Tom Gordon, expressed deep concern about what he claimed was the Conservative Government's "neglect of Harrogate and Knaresborough".
The Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Harrogate & Knaresborough - and Lib Dem candidate at the next General Election – said: "Harrogate Convention Centre is vital to our local economy, and funds from the
Levelling Up Fund would have provided much-needed investment to modernise and improve the facilities that brings countless businesses and visitors to our local area.
“This is just the latest missed opportunity to secure vital funds and investment for our town.
"It is damning verdict on the current local Conservative politicians who have been unsuccessful in persuading their colleagues in Westminster of the case for funding.”
The latest setback in moves to revamp Harrogate’s conference centre in an increasingly challenging market place follows a previous bid for 'Levelling Up' funds by Harrogate Borough Council in February which also failed.
Mr Gordon claimed Harrogate was simply being "taken for granted”.
"The Levelling Up Fund was an opportunity to make a real difference to Harrogate but the Conservatives have once again taken us for granted,” he said.
"The neglect we are witnessing is unacceptable and sends a clear message that the well-being of our community is not a priority for the Conservative administration.
"Harrogate and Knaresborough deserve better."
Ownership of Harrogate Convention Centre passed to North Yorkshire Council on April 1 when Harrogate Borough Council was abolished as part of a major local government shake-up supported by the Government.
It has been estimated that the council-owned facility, which opened in 1982, attracts more than 150,000 visitors a year with an economic impact of more than £35m.
Its current director Paula Lorimar has warned that Harrogate would "wither on the vine" if the facility ever closed.