‘Lack of engagement’ saw Knaresborough BID fail, say businesses


Oct 12, 2021
Castlegate in Knaresborough

A “lack of engagement” and “vague plans” led to a proposed Knaresborough Business Improvement District being rejected, say businesses.

Local traders voted down the plan this week by 80 votes to 73, with 153 votes cast overall.

BIDs, which already exist in many towns and cities, including Harrogate and Ripon, aim to improve footfall in towns and cities.

Businesses in areas that vote for creating them have to pay a levy to fund their activities.

But traders in Knaresborough said they felt the plans for the town were unclear.

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Annie Wilkinson-Gill, who owns The Crystal Buddha, said the organisation could have been good for the town had the BID task group engaged more.

She said:

“The BID could have been a good thing for the town, 

“But the lack of engagement from the BID team and directors with the town’s businesses and lack of transparency is why it wasn’t successful, 

“The plan was completely vague and had very little information within for us to want to invest in it.”

‘The town will continue to flourish’

Ashleigh Lambert, who owns Cenheard at Conyngham Hall in the town, said:

“I feel the plan from the BID lacked direction and failed to engage local businesses with the impacts, positive or negative.

“Knaresborough businesses have come together against the odds of votes stacked against them to vote for what they wanted for the town. I’m confident the town with continue to flourish with the support of groups and the council.”

The Stray Ferret contacted Bill Taylor, secretary and treasurer of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce and a member of the BID task group for a response to the ballot but he declined to comment.

More than 300 firms were eligible to take part in the vote, which started in September and ran until October 8.

For the BID to succeed, a simple majority of those who vote, representing more than half the total rateable value of all properties, must be in favour.

But although Harrogate Borough Council threw its 28-strong block vote behind the scheme, it was unable to muster enough support.

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🚨 Traffic 🚨 A look ahead at scheduled works and drivers on Ripon Road will only get a brief respite from temporary lights.

The delayed gas works are due to finish on October 22 but Yorkshire Water and Open Reach will be back from October 25 until November 1.


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