THE future of Harrogate town centre will come under the spotlight at a meeting this month.

Harrogate District Chamber’s first meeting of 2018 will focus on the creation of a Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID).

Consultancy firm Mosaic, which has been appointed by the BID steering group will explain the process and timescale of creating a Harrogate BID, while chamber president Mike Procter – who also sits on the BID Board – will answer questions on progress to date.

Mr Procter said: “Times have never been tougher for retail businesses – we’ve seen hard evidence of that with a number of closures among independent and big-name shops in Harrogate over the last 12 months."

"While Harrogate isn’t alone in facing a difficult high-street trading environment, we need to continually improve what our town centre offers, both to locals and visitors, and ensure we’re doing all we can to help businesses thrive, both now and in the future.”

A BID is a proven way for businesses to help themselves collectively. It offers significant cost savings and growth opportunities to all lying within its boundary, not just retailers and restaurants.

Chamber chief executive Sandra Doherty said: “It’s only by working together on projects like a Harrogate BID that we can create positive change in Harrogate for the benefit of everyone – owners, employees and customers.

"The Chamber meeting in January is a great opportunity to hear about the possible scope of a Harrogate BID and to bring your own ideas to the table."

The meeting takes place at the Old Swan Hotel on Monday, January 8. Informal networking will open at 5.30pm, with the official business from 6.15pm. The meeting is open to visitors, who can attend their first meeting free, or £15 for returning visitors.