Living in Harrogate, we’re lucky that nowadays, pretty much every service and business we could need is within easy reach. From big supermarkets to cover all of our daily needs and a number of different entertainment options, there aren’t many things missing. With that said, expansion is the natural way of towns and cities and there’s almost always something more to add.
While our neighbour Leeds has plenty of casinos to go around, there aren’t really any places around Harrogate itself to play slot games or hit the roulette tables. When most British people think of casinos, the bright neon lights of the Vegas Strip often first come to mind, but as Napoleons and Victoria Gate in Leeds show, they can be far more discreet and subtle setups that fit better with the local business landscape.
The timing for a casino right now would be perfect as well. Casino games have been growing in popularity across the UK, especially online where major sites are making casino offers for new players specifically for the UK market. Between local revenue and job creation, it’s a fairly safe business move for the town.
As regions go, Harrogate is an exceptional place to work in the natural sciences. By our tourism site’s own claim, almost half of the region is listed as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are plenty of species around of significant scientific interest. Between Plumpton Rocks and other natural sites, we have a wealth of natural space. What we do lack, however, is any proper place dedicated to studying and promoting all of these things.
To be clear, we’re not talking about an environmental project on the scale of the Eden Project down in Cornwall. Instead, a small research base situated in the area around Harrogate could have both great scientific benefit as well as educational benefits. At the moment, environmental and ecological issues are some of the most pressing issues that we face, so anywhere that can help raise awareness with local examples could be extremely valuable.
This suggestion is going to feel a bit technologically advanced for a town that only recently turned down BT’s ‘digital hubs’ on its streets. However, the potential behind a public place fitted with VR headsets and all the software to go with them is huge. We’ve already mentioned how important it can be to educate local people on bigger issues and VR is a gateway to that.
People who otherwise wouldn’t get to travel or see distant cultures and places would suddenly get to experience them as if they were there. Beyond that, it can help acquire manual skills both for home life, such as repairing and installing common items, to full skills needed for trades such as plumbing or electrical work.
Of course, each of these projects is ambitious, would take time and funding, and overall would need to be properly assessed. This is just a starting point to get the ideas for Harrogate flowing!