As the ex head of conservation and design at Harrogate Council, dealing with the ‘natural and built heritage’ of the district, might I advocate that Harrogate Council should look to the whole district and allocate where appropriate large and small events to Knaresborough, Ripon, Boroughbridge, Pateley Bridge and Masham. There is not just Harrogate that is attractive and needs economic/tourism investment.
Sharing increased activities throughout the district will hopefully take some pressure off the Stray and Valley Gardens. The Stray Act has served the town well and Harrogate must stop endangering two of the town’s precious jewels.
By contrast the Pavilions at Yorkshire Show Ground should be used for the more intensive events and Harrogate could make more use of Crescent Gardens for small events. Especially if it was landscaped as a proper civic event square, linked to the Royal Hall and HIC and ideally called ‘Queen Elizabeth Square’ to mark our longest serving monarch.
Think outside the soft, easy Stray/Valley Gardens options. Think outside Harrogate town and make more economic use of all our beautiful district.