Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID) has gone through a period of change, but now has new members on the board and a new chairman.
They are now meeting weekly and have projects coming along that will give significant benefit to the town.
What Is A BID ?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area. Within the BID area, businesses of a sufficient size pay a BID Levy each month.
The Board now comprises 15 members, drawing expertise from different areas, including large retail, independents, restaurants, commercial, events, Harrogate Borough Council, police and County Council.
During 2019, the BID group went through a period of change. The chairman standing down and there were changes in board membership.
The then chairman, John Fox stood down after he had worked to establish the BID and had served the initial year that he had planned to.
Bob Kennedy of G23 and Porters has been appointed the new chairman of the board.
He has lived in the Harrogate area all his life and after a brief spell in sales, he opened G23 in 1993 at the age of 26 and acquired Porters in 2006.
Bob Kennedy said:
From the age of 3 I lived on a farm on the Newby Hall estate, but when I turned 18, moved to Harrogate.
Later I started in a sales job, selling security tagging systems to clothes shops.
That was a job that took me throughout the north of England and Scotland visiting many shops.
It was visiting some of these stores that made realise there was a gap in the market in Harrogate and this led to me opening firstly Plantation and a year later G23.
The Harrogate BID Team are meeting weekly and donating a serious amount of time into moving things forward.
Bob Kennedy said:
I am really pleased to be the chair of the Harrogate BID. We have a fantastic BID Team, with lots of diverse talent, and a collective will to make it work for the town, giving value for money to the BID levy payers.
There are a number of sub-groups looking at specific areas and, when their work is more developed, that is something that we will want to share more widely and possibly ask for others to get involved.
We appreciate that there is work to be done, but Harrogate has a great foundation for that to happen.
But Harrogate needs to talk more positively about itself and for any significant change to happen it needs a wide group of people all pulling in the same direction.