£20,000 feasibility study to begin on Knaresborough cliff lift
Last updated Dec 1, 2023
The steep divide between the town centre and Waterside.

A £20,000 study is to investigate the feasibility of a cliff lift in Knaresborough.

The idea of a lift connecting the steep divide between Waterside and the town centre has long been debated.

Now the government’s shared prosperity fund has awarded a £20,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study into the idea, a meeting of business group Knaresborough Chamber heard this week.

Peter Lacey, an executive member of the chamber, said in January the organisation and Knaresborough Town Council had agreed to work together to build a business case for better connectivity in the town.

Mr Lacey told this week’s meeting that £20,000 had now been awarded and the firms Carey Tourism and 56 Degree Insight would lead the market research.

The community group Renaissance Knaresborough promoted the cliff lift idea pre-covid and Ben Carey, of Carey Tourism, worked on an interim report on behalf of the now-defunct Harrogate Borough Council.

Mr Carey told the meeting he suspected the lift would be a long-term project costing about £5 million and connectivity would be key to its success. He said:

“We can produce the most wonderful, iconic structure but nobody is going to fund it unless you can show it will be transformative to Knaresborough.

“It’s all about connectivity — how you can make sure people spend more time and money in local businesses.”

Mr Carey also said it was essential that North Yorkshire Council extended the lease of Knaresborough Castle otherwise nobody would invest in the scheme.

The castle land, which is leased from the Duchy of Lancaster, is likely to host the lift.

Cllr Matt Walker, a Liberal Democrat who represents Knaresborough West on North Yorkshire Council, told the meeting the lease had nine years left and he was pushing for it to be extended.

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