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Taking a look at the Harrogate BID Taking a look at the Harrogate BID

News / Articles

Jul 19

Taking a look at the Harrogate BID

Written by John Carter

DDI: 01423 724620
E: john.carter@raworths.co.uk

Harrogate’s new ‘Business Improvement District’ (BID) is now up and running and Raworths is delighted to be on board with the initiative. A firm based in central Harrogate for over 125 years, Raworths has witnessed many changes in the town’s rich history and has always been proud to support the community and local business initiatives.

The purpose of the BID is to enable local businesses to work alongside the local authority to make improvements to the area in which they operate. Local businesses pool their resources in order to provide extra services to the area in addition to those provided by the local authority.  Hundreds of BIDs have already been set up in the UK including towns and cities close to Harrogate such as Skipton, York and Leeds.

Businesses within the Harrogate town centre BID area are now required to pay a relatively small levy in addition to their business rates bill. The levy payable is 1.5% of the rateable value of the business (although small businesses with a rateable value of less than £20,000 are exempt).  The proceeds go towards the improvement and development of the town centre.

In November 2018 businesses in Harrogate were asked to vote on the proposed BID in Harrogate.  Over 80% of those who voted were in favour, so the Harrogate BID was established and will run for 5 years.

The BID is managed by The Harrogate BID Limited, which is directly responsible to all business members through a board elected by all those paying the BID levy.

What does it hope to achieve?

The 5 objectives of the Harrogate BID are to:

  1. Direct and deliver over £3 million of investment in the town centre over the next 5 years.
  2. Increase footfall and raise the town’s profile through enhanced and targeted marketing and promotions.
  3. Improve people’s experience and perceptions of the town by helping deliver a safe, clean and welcoming town centre, day and night.
  4. Address the issues of accessibility and parking.
  5. Make sure the voice of business is heard on key issues and together reduce business costs through centrally negotiated services.

The performance of the Harrogate BID will be monitored against these objectives on an on-going basis.

Some of the Harrogate BID initiatives currently being worked on are as follows:

  • Introducing a ‘Harrogate Gift Card’ which will be a prepaid gift card that can only be used in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants in the Harrogate BID area (and cannot be used online).
  • Putting large stylish artwork on the walls of alleyways.
  • The production and distribution of a handy map of Harrogate to encourage visitors to explore the town.

Setting up the Harrogate BID is a positive move that could result in great benefits for Harrogate town centre and we look forward to seeing what it can achieve.

John Carter is a solicitor in Raworths’ commercial property team. For assistance with all of your commercial property legal issues please get in touch with Raworths either by telephone 01423 566 666, by e-mail john.carter@raworths.co.uk or by visiting us at Eton House, 89 Station Parade, Harrogate HG1 1HF.

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