More Festival Fun in Skipton

Celebrating Sheep Day held on 1st July.  It was Skipton’s 23rd annual Sheep Day event, with more than 15,000 in attendance on a very hot summer’s day (27ºC).

We do hope you enjoy this short film!

Simply Irresistible Skipton

Had a great couple of days filming some of the businesses in Skipton, with Mark from Catapult Films. The idea eventually, is to provide a flavour of all that Skipton has to offer, this our first project showcases some of the eating and drinking establishments.  As Skipton BID heads toward its third term, we will continue to promote our vibrant town through all media channels, and look to include more short-films embracing #SimplyIrresistibleSkipton via You Tube and Social Media!

Special thanks to Ben Crick for composing the music accompanying the films and Skipton Building Society Camerata for playing the score so wonderfully!


Counting Footfall – What’s the Benefit?

Being a BID business in a BID town provides your business with many benefits:

‘Skipton in Bloom’ at the Town Hall!
  • A full programme of funded events and initiatives which encourage people to visit, such as The Waterway Festival, Sheep Day and the Christmas Markets
  • The funding and organisation of initiatives which enhance and improve the look and feel of the town, such as Skipton in Bloom (love the new planters outside the Town Hall).
  • A suite of funded initiatives which support your business, like the Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), the ‘about to be installed’ CCTV and access to accurate footfall data.

Two footfall counters, paid for and installed by Skipton BID, Skipton Town Council and Craven District Council in 2016, are positioned on the High Street and Swadford Street. Installed with state of the art sensors, they measure the number of people who pass by them and are able to adjust the data for a person with multiple passes. This data is then fed back to BID manager, Geraldine Thompson, on a weekly basis.

The figures aren’t published, but they are available on request. Since we now have more than a year’s worth of data, it is possible to compare footfall from the same week year to year, in addition to offering comparisons to the published figures for the North, Yorkshire and the UK. Breakdown by day and hour and mapping to the weather is also included.

Here’s what some Skipton businesses had to say about this resource:

Michelle Nye owner Chocolate & Truffles

“I find the figures really useful to have. It’s good to know it’s not just ‘you’ if you’ve had a poor day. Having access to the footfall figures helps me tune into the local and national footfall trends which usually reflect how the business is doing.

The figures also help me plan my work, for example earlier this year during a prolonged period of lower footfall, I could see from the figures that it was a national trend, so I took steps to look at other avenues of income, like getting more active on ShopAppy and boosting our online activity.

The figures can also show you when the busiest times of a particular day of the week are, which could in turn help you to work out when to increase or reduce your staff, or help you decide which is the best day to close.

Without the data it becomes guess work about what you think is happening. The figures are really important to me as they help me understand why the business is good or not so good, as Chocolate & Truffles’ good sales days tend to tie in with high footfall days and vice versa. I always go through the figures to see how they compare to our sales and find them very helpful.”

David Roberts owner Hettie’s Café Bistro

“The footfall counters are a useful tool for illustrating how the percentage changes in footfall relate to the percentage changes in turnover. I’ve worked it out for Hetties and can clearly see that the higher the footfall in Skipton, the better my business does, as I am sure would be the case for many businesses in the town.

The footfall data is a valuable business resource which if used properly would help more businesses to realise that we all have our part to play – along with Skipton BID – in marketing Skipton to increase the footfall into the town centre, and if we do that, we will all benefit.”

If you would like to receive the footfall figures – email or call 01756 799033.

Festival Fun in Skipton

Skipton Waterway Festival has been an annual event in Skipton for 17 years, with footfall this year (2018) increasing by more than 10,000 per day during the 3-day festival.  

The Waterway Festival happens on May Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday through Monday.  Originally organised by British Waterways and Pennine Cruisers, Skipton BID stepped in after British Waterways were no longer able to provide the main funding for this event, enabling Pennine Cruisers to continue with a very popular and cherished waterways event, that raises awareness of Skipton as a whole, the canal basin and the canal system.

Filmed, edited and produced by Mark Currie at Catapult Films, see

For more information on boating hire, please visit

Fighting Shop Theft and Business Crime

  • Is shoplifting a problem for your business?
  • Has your organisation been the victim of fraud through the receipt of fake bank notes?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes then read on, as the Skipton BID funded Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) could help you tackle these issues.

Here are some testimonials from Skipton retailers, revealing why being a part of the BCRP scheme has made a significant difference to the profitability of their business:

Charlotte Ryder − New Look

“It’s been a huge benefit to New Look as the app, which comes as part of the scheme and which you can upload to your phone, enables you to quickly see if there’s any new faces to look out for. It also helps you check if you think you’ve spotted someone on the shop floor who is a known shoplifter. If you do identify someone from the app’s gallery on your premises, then you can alert other businesses via the app or the radio.

“Being part of the BCRP scheme has reduced our stock loss massively – we are now losing less than 1% of what we were losing before we got the radio and the app!”

Robert Schofield – Sports Direct

“The radio has really helped us to stay alert about potential theft, as soon as we hear that someone suspicious or known is in town we make sure we have a strong front of house presence. And, if we suspect anyone in our store we immediately alert everyone else in the scheme.

“We actually arrested someone who had stolen from another retailer in town – they didn’t come into Sports Direct, but because our staff were on high alert and were stood at the front of the shop, they recognised and detained them.

“If we get an alert we always go to the front of the shop to see if we can spot anyone, as a sighting can help you relay back to other members in the scheme how certain individuals are moving through the town and which stores they might be targeting.

“We only signed up six weeks ago but have already identified two people who are known shoplifters who we thought were customers! Without the information provided by the scheme we wouldn’t have recognised the threat they posed.

“The scheme would work even better if more businesses were part of it.”

Kevin Woods – W. Boyes & Co.

“We’ve actively caught several shoplifters over the last few months thanks to the intelligence sharing between other retailers in the scheme, and the tremendous back up BCRP gets from Community Liaison Officer, Judy Probst and PCSO Gillian Seed.

“If more shops and stores were part of the scheme then more intelligence could be shared which would make it even better!

“There’s also been quite a bit of fraud with fake bank notes and its helped a lot in identifying who has those too. The app and the website are both quick and easy to use and provide really useful and regular intelligence updates.”

Remember together we can make a difference – email or call 01756 799033 for more information or to apply to join the scheme.

Tour de Yorkshire comes to Skipton

The town was very excited to have the Tour de Yorkshire (TDY) visit Skipton for the second year running.  We hope you enjoy this short video filmed on Sunday 6th May 2018, as Stage 4 of the TDY raced through Skipton!

Since 2014 when the Tour de France came through Skipton, our vibrant town has embraced with renewed passion all things cycling related.  In 2015 Skipton launched two sensational cycling events:

  • Le Petit Depart, follows part of the Tour de France route through the Yorkshire Dales, with two route options to choose from, it is held this year on Sunday 3rd June: and
  • Skipton Cycle Races, has three separate events, held this year on Wednesday 11th July, starting at 6pm with the under 12 cycle race.

For further information on each of these events please click on the link:

Le Petit Depart

Skipton Cycle Races

Filmed, edited and produced by Mark Currie at Catapult Films, see

What has the BID ever done for us?

(With apologies to Monty Python)

REG: They’ve taken our money. And what has Skipton BID ever given us in return?!

XERXES: The Visit Skipton website.

REG: What?

XERXES: The Visit Skipton website – 20,000 unique users a month…

REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that’s true. Yeah.

COMMANDO #1: And they co-fund the Skipton Town Ambassadors.

LORETTA: Oh, yeah, the Ambassadors, Reg. Remember what the town used to be like without them?

REG: Yeah. All right. I’ll grant you the Visit Skipton website and the Town Ambassadors are two things that the BID has done.

MATTHIAS: And they give financial support for the Christmas Markets and the Christmas Lights Switch On.

REG: Well, yeah. Obviously they help fund the Christmas Markets and lights. I mean, the Christmas Markets go without saying, don’t they? But apart from Visit Skipton, the Town Ambassadors and the all the Christmas stuff…

COMMANDO #2: The International Puppet Festival.

XERXES: The Waterway Festival.

REG: Huh?

COMMANDO #3: Sheep Day.

REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.

COMMANDO #1: And Skipton in Bloom.

COMMANDOS: Oh, yes. Yeah…

FRANCIS: Yeah. Yeah, that’s something we’d really miss, Reg, if Skipton BID left. Huh? All the beautiful plantings around the town…

COMMANDO #2: The Cycle Races. Kids Comic Collective.

LORETTA: Business Crime Reduction Partnership and Best Bar None. It’s safer for shops and bars to do business now, Reg.

FRANCIS: Yeah, they certainly discourage retail crime and anti-social behaviour, helping the police catch criminals and so making Skipton a better place to live, to carry out business activities and visit. Let’s face it. That helps businesses a lot.

XERXES: They offer business support services like GrantFinder, ShopAppy and Footfall counters.

REG: All right, but apart from the Visit Skipton website, the Ambassadors, The Christmas Markets, the Waterway Festival, The International Puppet Festival, Sheep Day, Skipton in Bloom, Business Crime Reduction Partnership, Skipton Cycle Races, and all the business support services, what have the BID ever done for us?

XERXES: They offer grant funding for projects that support and promote the town.

REG: Oh. Funding for projects that support and promote the town? Shut up!

Could Your Business Benefit from GRANTfinder?

There are many benefits to being a Skipton BID business: a year-round schedule of supported town events, the Business Crime Reduction Partnership scheme (BCRP), and the town ambassadors. One of the lesser known and lesser used benefits is the Idox GRANTfinder resource, which is available to all BID businesses – free of charge − until the end of 2019.

What is GRANTfinder?

The GRANTfinder website is Europe’s leading service for grants information. Recognised as the largest and most comprehensively supported service of its type, it enables extensive insight into local, regional and national UK government and European funding sources, plus private initiatives, charitable trusts and corporate sponsorship opportunities.

By answering the prompted questions and inputting the correct data about your business into its easy to use portal, it very quickly identifies potential funding providers for projects, activities or business development initiatives.

Said Danielle Daglan, programming and venue development manager for Craven District Council: “GRANTfinder is a fantastic piece of software for companies looking for funding. For arts and heritage organisations, or for those businesses looking to access funding to help improve accessibility, or make their operation ‘greener’ or more environmentally friendly, then it is well worth investigating.

“Built in 1862, Skipton Town Hall has, from the outset, been a building dedicated to public use. My current role is to secure funding to support the work we’re doing in re-developing Skipton Town Hall into a cultural hub for the 21st century, and so I found GRANTfinder very illuminating.”

The Benefits of GRANTfinder:

One of the fundamental aims of Skipton BID, along with its ‘Visit Skipton’ initiative, is to provide access to tools which directly support the businesses within the town. GRANTfinder, the footfall data reports and BCRP form part of that provision.
The key areas that GRANTfinder can help identify funding for are:

  • Technological and environmental developments
  • Support in increasing the accessibility of businesses and services
  • Arts, culture and heritage organisations
  • Charitable, voluntary and social enterprise organisations

But there are plenty more opportunities, so don’t be afraid to come and have a look. We have already helped a number of businesses find a range of grants that are available for them to apply for.

Please contact Geraldine to discuss further or to schedule a meeting, at or call 01756 799033.

We are listening to your feedback

Participants taking part in February’s focus groups, as well as those engaged with on an individual or online basis, were asked to offer their feedback and ideas in relation to the following areas:

  • Visit Skipton: Events or initiatives which entice people to come and visit Skipton, such as the Waterway Festival
  • Environment: Initiatives which enhance and improve Skipton for visitors and locals, for example Skipton in Bloom
  • Business Support: Services and initiatives that directly support BID businesses, which currently include BCRP, footfall data and the IDOX Grantfinder

The consensus from most of the feedback, is that Skipton BID has achieved what it set out to; such as, successfully building a programme of regular high-profile events that attract people to the town. The Visit Skipton brand means that Skipton now has a strong online presence, and other business support initiatives have enabled further and better data to become available for local BID businesses.

Nevertheless, those spoken with were also keen to point out that Skipton BID mustn’t rest on its laurels, and must continue to seek out new ways of building on what it has achieved to date. And, with your support – this is some of what we are considering!



We are delighted to announce that following overwhelming feedback from our BID businesses, the reintroduction of CCTV into Skipton town centre will be going ahead. With Craven District Council’s (CDC) support it’s possible CCTV will also be able to go into the carparks.  Geraldine Thompson from Skipton BID and Rob Stoney, facilities manager at CDC, are due to meet with the last of the tenders, and should then be able to agree a rollout programme. Keep a lookout for updates about this exciting business support initiative through Skipton BID News and our monthly blog post.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

One idea which arose from the focus groups and which has already garnered some positive interest, is that of creating a ‘hop on hop off’ local bus service around the town centre, to further encourage tourists (and locals!) to visit the outlining shopping areas. It is possible that such an initiative may not be financially viable for a small BID such as ours, however we are keen to look at the options for such a service, and will keep you posted with how this develops.

Painted Window Trail

Another idea was to once again utilise the fabulous talents of local artist, Jenny Tribillon, to create a ‘painted shop window trail’, which would feature a painted window within each area of the town. A themed trail with trail sheets and a prize has proved popular in other market towns and if executed well has the potential to enhance footfall to outlying areas.

Promoting Skipton

It’s no accident that Skipton was voted the happiest place to live in the UK last year. That Skipton featured recently on This Morning television or that the BBC One Show was filming today in our vibrant town. [One Show featuring Skipton Market shown 28th Feb 7pm]. Skipton BID together with Skipton Town Council work very hard behind the scenes to keep Skipton on the map.

…but you want more, therefore to further promote Skipton, it is proposed that the BID create a series of short videos which promote the town. The completed videos will be posted on You Tube, our website and shared through our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

If you have further feedback about anything contained in this blog please do not hesitate to get in touch − email – we’d love to hear from you!

Creating a BID that meets the needs of your business

As the final year of our second term, 2018 is a very important year for Skipton BID. With a limited amount of time before our third term commences in April 2019, we want to be sure that our business plan for 2018/9 and beyond, reflects the needs of the majority of our BID businesses.

With more than 600 BID businesses across Skipton, a direct and individual approach to gather feedback is a logistical challenge given our modest resources.

Recognising that it is often easier to talk than email, we have arranged a series of Focus Groups where BID businesses can come along and meet with the manager and director of Skipton BID, Geraldine Thompson, to talk through concerns and ideas, so that we can deliver a programme of activity which enhances the viability and vitality of the town.

The first Focus Groups will take place on Thursday February 8th between 12–1pm and 1−2pm at Alexander’s Bar and Kitchen on the High Street.  The aim of these meetings will be to identify:

  • The funded events and initiatives that have worked well for the town at large – which must be kept
  • The events and initiatives which haven’t offered businesses value for money

The Focus Groups are open and available to all BID businesses to attend, and Geraldine will also be keen to hear new ideas about ways in which BID levy funds could be used differently to further help and support businesses within and across the town.

All BID funds must be spent in one of these three areas:

Visit Skipton:

  • Events or initiatives which entice people to come and visit Skipton.


  • Initiatives which enhance and improve Skipton for visitors and locals, for example Skipton in Bloom.

Business Support:

  • Initiatives which directly support BID businesses, such as Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), footfall data and the IDOX GrantFinder.

Following the February 8th Focus Groups a draft 2019 BID business plan will be created and circulated to all businesses for approval.

To book your place at one of these Focus Groups please email Complimentary refreshments will be available.

With your feedback we hope that we can shape Skipton BID to reflect the needs and aspirations of the town and your business.

If you are unable to attend the Focus Groups but have feedback you would like to share, please email