'We've had far fewer people through the door' - Plea to support indie businesses in aftermath of Harrogate fire

The dramatic scene at Beulah Street on Friday.
The dramatic scene at Beulah Street on Friday.

'Please don't be put off by the cordons' is the heartfelt plea from Harrogate business owners who say they've been hit hard in the aftermath of a major town centre fire.

Fire in Harrogate town centre - What emergency services believe to be the cause

A number of independent traders and retailers on Beulah Street have reported a decline in footfall in light of the cordons and road closures that were put in place due to the blaze that ravished Deli Blanca - a business that was only due to open on the street this week.

Hannah Woodruff, who runs The Disappearing Chin bar with her husband, has stressed that businesses along the stretch are open as usual, and that taking just a bit of time to pop in and show your support can make a massive difference to independents.

She said: "My heart goes out to the businesses affected by the fire - we were really looking forward to the Deli Blanca opening and supporting another wonderful place on Beulah Street.

"We are so grateful for all of the hard work that the fire brigade put into fighting the fire and limiting the damage - we even managed to avoid any smoke damage, but the weekend has been incredibly slow.

The dramatic photos which show the devastating Harrogate town centre fire in full

"This is possibly due to the cordons and the road closed signage. We have had far fewer people through the door, and speaking to others on the street it seems the same.

"Independent businesses on Beulah street and Station Parade are reliant on local people's support and custom, so please don't be put off by the cordons and the road closure signs. We are open as usual and providing the same experience as ever. Supporting Harrogate's indies really makes a big impact on so many Harrogate people. It's a great community, so let's keep the love going."

North Yorkshire County Council's advice on Friday was to "avoid the town centre" if possible, to allow the emergency services to work in the best conditions to safely bring the fire under control.

Heartbreak as owners of fire-hit Harrogate building were due to open business next week

The centre of Harrogate was in lock-down for much of the morning, and Station Parade didn't reopen until 8pm as heroic firefighters remained on the scene.