Funding to boost ‘undersold’ Knaresborough businesses


Last updated Feb 2, 2021
Castlegate in Knaresborough

Harrogate Borough Council is set to support the setting up of a Knaresborough Business Improvement District with a £27,000 loan.

Senior councillors will be recommended to support the BID in principle and the loan at a cabinet meeting tomorrow.

A BID is a partnership between businesses, which pay a levy on their rates to provide further projects and services to benefit businesses in a defined area.

It can include marketing, promotions and street cleaning.

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As part of the proposal, the Knaresborough BID area would cover 380 businesses.

William Taylor, one of the directors of the BID, told the Stray Ferret that the aim of the project would be to help make the town “more accessible”.

He said:

“We had a good conversation with them [the council] and they were looking for a professional approach and we have got that in place now.

“Knaresborough is very much undersold and has lived in the shadow of Harrogate and Ripon.

“We are looking to make it accessible to people and make people aware of it.”

Business ballot

Knaresborough BID was set up in 2019 and this loan will help it become operational.

Knaresborough BID brought in consultants Mosaic Partnerships, which also supported the development of the Harrogate BID, to help set up the organisation and canvass support.

The project will be funded through a mixture of public and private funding.

The council’s proposed £27,000 loan would match funding raised by the Knaresborough BID.

So far, the BID has raised £16,000 from private business sources, organisations and individuals.

The loan would be paid for from the council’s 2024 reserves and repaid if businesses agreed to support it in a ballot.

Mr Taylor said it was working towards a ballot date in June.

A report due before councillors on Wednesday said the move to set up the BID had the potential to be positive for the town.

It said:

“The development of the Knaresborough BID is an externally led example of businesses coming together to seek to improve their trading environment to the benefit of all. 

“The development of Knaresborough BID represents an opportunity for the council to provide start up support for an initiative that has the potential to make positive changes to Knaresborough town centre and surrounding area.”

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