Harrogate Borough Council has welcomed the announcement that the station area of the town will benefit from the latest round of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Deal.
York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will receive £23.68 million to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage the area’s economic growth. Included in the projects announced this week are improvements to Harrogate’s rail station area to improve the passenger experience and to open up potential housing and employment opportunities.
The announcement comes as Harrogate Borough Council is set to consider a report next Wednesday (1 February 2017) which recommends the Station Parade area of Harrogate is made a priority regeneration project.
The Harrogate Town Centre Strategy and Master Plan, which was adopted by the council last year (2016), provides a vision and design for the future which will ensure the town’s continuing economic prosperity. The Station Parade site (which includes the railway and bus station, ground level and multi-storey car parking and a number of office and retail buildings) has been identified as having great potential to deliver an exciting and major transformation to a strategically important part of the town centre.
With this in mind, councillors at next week’s Cabinet meeting will be asked to approve a Feasibility and Viability Study for the area as the first step in the project.
Councillor Graham Swift is Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise: The announcement of Local Growth Deal funding to develop the Harrogate station area reinforces our belief that this site is key to the future growth and development of the town centre in terms of regional significance, providing as it will a vastly improved town gateway which will benefit workers, visitors and residents alike through improved travel facilities and accessibility.
Other advantages that would flow from such a development include a better town centre ‘experience’ and an enhanced perception of the town. This in turn would translate into further investment and economic growth in the area and contribute to a strong local economy.
Working in partnership with landowners and stakeholders is fundamental to ensuring that everyone can get the maximum benefit from the development, which will provide a major uplift to the urban environment around the station, creating a space where people want to work, shop and spend time.
Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet will consider the report on ‘Implementing Harrogate Town Centre Master Plan Priorities’ next Wednesday (1 February 2017). As well as the Parade project, the report also recommends prioritising a project to develop Harrogate Theatre, if and when funding becomes available.