PRESS RELEASE – 2019 Skipton Business Awards

Announcing the Headline Sponsor for the 2019 Skipton Business Awards


Skipton BID has been announced as the headline sponsor of the 2019 Skipton Business Awards.

The Awards were first launched in October 2016 by the Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce, with Skipton BID supporting the initial event with foundation funding. The event has become the highlight of Skipton’s business calendar, with the organisers delighted to have Skipton BID back on board for 2019, this time as headline sponsors.

Awards’ Coordinator Wendy Lawson said “Thanks to the confirmation of headline sponsorship by the BID, the awards are secured for yet another year. They provide a brilliant opportunity for companies in the BD23 area to showcase their quality products and services, offered both locally and around the world and we’ re really pleased that the BID is keen to invest again in championing local businesses this way.”

Skipton BID (Business Improvement District) has grown to become one of the leading BID organisations in the UK. It is voted for and levy funded by the business community within a defined area to promote the growth of the local economy in ways that cannot be funded by local authorities.

 Geraldine Thompson, BID Manager and Director was looking forward to the forthcoming year of awards and being able to celebrate with the ‘Best’ businesses in Skipton.

She said: “The BID is delighted to see so many businesses participate in the Skipton Business Awards, because our town and the surrounding area has so much to offer to clients, shoppers, staff, residents and visitors.  It is a privilege to enable the businesses to have this opportunity to shine.”

The awards are being launched at an ‘Open for Business’ event hosted at Skipton Building Society’s headquarters on Tuesday 9thOctober 2018, to which all business owners and managers are welcome. For more information about the open event and to purchase tickets click on this link:  Tickets for Skipton Business Awards

Businesses will receive free advice from other members of the community at the event, hear from interesting speakers throughout the evening and learn more about the Awards. Companies interested in sponsoring an award category should contact Coordinator Wendy Lawson via email, prior to the event.

Spearheaded by the Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which formed more than 120 years ago to champion businesses in the town; the awards are backed by Skipton BID, Headline sponsor in 2019 and category sponsors.

Not limited to Chamber members, entry is open to any business with a Skipton BD23 postcode up to the deadline in February 2019. An award ceremony dinner on Thursday 25thApril 2019 at The Rendezvous Hotel will celebrate the success of the winners and showcase the nominees and runners-up.

Press Release “Back the BID and help Town”

The Skipton BID has undoubtedly made a huge difference to the fortunes of the town over the last ten years.

It has funded or helped fund many of the fantastic events hosted here in that time; it has set up schemes to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour; it has given grant funding for events; and it has helped keep the town’s streets looking wonderful by providing funding for Skipton In Bloom.

BID levy-payers will go to the polls in January to decide whether or not to give the BID a third five-year term – and the Craven Herald is backing the Vote Yes campaign.

Next week, the BID board launches its Business Plan for the 2019-2024 term when full details of its proposals for the next five years will be revealed.

Ahead of that event, we talk to BID founder member and current chairman Andrew Mear about why it is so important to allow the BID to continue….

As a businessman and landlord in the town, Andrew Mear is only too aware of the importance of joined-up thinking and the value of working together for the good of Skipton as a whole.

He recognised the value of the BID when it was first mooted more than 10 years ago, and happily got involved, initially as a board member, and then as chairman at the end of the first term.

And he has no doubt that having the BID helped businesses in Skipton during some very difficult years.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that it insulated us through the recession years. It was tough but it would have been far tougher without a BID.

“The wheels fell off the economy in 2008, and we were there to help Skipton through the aftermath of that,” he said.

Skipton was one of the first to set up a BID when it was set up in 2009, and it has invested £1.5m in the town since then.

It has set up and runs the Visit Skipton website, operates the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, restored CCTV cameras to the town, provides the majority of funding for Skipton In Bloom, helps businesses seeking grants, helps fund the town ambassadors, and operates the Best Bar None scheme for licensed premises.

It also provides funding for Skipton Christmas Lights and the switch-on ceremony, as well as many of the festivals and events that bring thousands of people into Skipton every year, including the Christmas Markets, the Waterways Festival, the Skipton International Puppet Festival, Sheep Day, and the Skipton Cycle Races.

It is funded by a levy on businesses within the BID area based on their rateable values and the sector they trade in.

Andrew likens it to the online phenomena of crowdfunding. “That’s something people can understand. The term BID can seem a bit like jargon. But basically it’s like we are crowdfunding all these events and projects that support Skipton.

“People have to have sight of the bigger picture. It would be easy to take the view that the cost of the levy is something which could usefully remain directly in the pocket of your business,” he said.

“What can you do with, say, £100? But imagine what a difference 500 £100s could make if spent in a way to benefit the whole town.”

The BID is supported by many of the big players in the town, including Skipton Building Society, Craven District Council, Skipton Town Council, Craven College, Skipton Castle, and the Rendezvous Hotel.

But the board is keen to ensure that everyone is aware of the work that has been done and will be done for the benefit of the whole town.

It also wants to stress that a ‘No’ vote could have disastrous consequences for businesses and residents in Skipton.

The launch of the Business Plan outlining how the BID will invest the £800,000 levy a yes vote would see for the town takes place next Wednesday (October 3) at the Black Horse.

The board is keen for as many of the businesses involved as possible to come along and see for themselves what the benefits will be – and to be made aware of what could be lost through a no vote.

According to Andrew, Skipton simply cannot afford not to have a BID.

“What is for certain is that, without it, the ongoing investment will be lost forever. The money will simply not come from elsewhere. Local authorities are no longer in a position to step up to the mark and fill the gap.

“Don’t just take our word for it, though. Since 2014 the number of BIDs in the UK has increased dramatically. Skipton is now surrounded by other towns and cities, each with a BID doing great work

– Keighley, Colne, Otley, Halifax, and Leeds, for example. Others are on the way soon, including

Ilkley, Harrogate, Bradford, Burnley, Knaresborough, and Ripon.

“All of these places can’t be wrong – and it would be disastrous if Skipton, having been a pioneer of BIDs in the north of the country, was to lose its own. We really can’t afford to lose that investment at a time when surrounding places are ‘upping their game’.

“And the ‘game’ is all about coming together for the greater good. The value of your BID levy, on its own, is unlikely to transform your business – but the value of all those levies, put together, can make a huge difference to our fantastic town.”

Andrew recognises that there are some who don’t believe the events the BID support or the work it does has any impact on them, but he says it’s not just about seeing a direct impact. He says the cumulative effect of the investment in events and business support has benefited the whole town, making it more attractive for people to live in, and increasing potential trade for everyone, even those who may not see a direct benefit from events which bring in thousands of visitors. And a happier town means that staff who work in non-retail businesses like offices enjoy a happier environment, and if they live in town, a happier place to live, which would be a benefit to any business, he said. “The footfall counters show what we are doing here is working. Is it all through the BID? I’m very confident that without it, the numbers wouldn’t be what they are.”

*The launch of Skipton BID’s Third term Business Plan takes place on Wednesday – October 3 – in the Black Horse function room. There will be a reception and nibbles from 6pm with the launch starting at 7pm.


CCTV is returning to Skipton town centre after ten years thanks to Skipton BID.

A £50,000 project to bring the cameras back to the town is close to completion.

More than 40 new CCTV cameras, in locations spreading out from the town centre, have now been installed and are ready to go online very shortly.

The project has been funded as part of the BID’s Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership and will help tackle crime and keep the community safe.

The scheme has been welcomed by police, who say it will be an important tool in their fight against crime as well as acting as a deterrent against potential offenders.

The cameras have been installed by Huddersfield-based System Vision Ltd, and can be instantly accessed by the police if they are alerted to an issue.

This could include things like shoplifting activity in a certain area, anti-social behaviour on a particular street, or a missing child.

BID Manager Geraldine Thompson said: “The BID manages the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership (SCRP), which is an information sharing scheme for ShopWatch and S.T.A.N.D aiming to reduce shop crime, stop anti-social behaviour and offer assistance to the vulnerable.

“The SCRP’s members already have the use of radios to enable the shops to speedily send out key messages to each other, such as ‘look out for a slim bloke wearing a grey hoody and blue jeans, was acting suspiciously and left in haste when approached‘; and while it appears we live and work in a low crime area, let’s not be naive, bringing CCTV back to Skipton after a decade of absence was the right thing to do.

“The CCTV was, for the BID, the next step in helping to keep Skipton a safe destination for residents, clients, shoppers, staff and visitors.”

BID chairman Andrew Mear said the re-installation of the cameras would make everyone feel much safer in the town and was reversing a short-sighted decision to remove them in the first place.

“It shows how the business community, through the BID, can act to improve the whole town for everyone, and provide a service that would not otherwise be there,” he said.

“The cameras will provide a safe working, living, and leisure environment for everyone, and are a key example of the work the BID can do.”

Skipton neighbourhood policing sergeant Paul Evans said: “With regards the CCTV scheme, we are obviously supportive of anything that helps us to reduce crime and disorder in Skipton.

“CCTV is a useful tool in the fight against crime as it is often a deterrent to those wishing to commit crime and anti-social behaviour, whilst at the same time is often useful evidence when investigating such incidents.

“Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, supported by Skipton BID is a very useful ally in keeping people safe in the town.

“Working together with local businesses and the sharing of information is key to ensuring that those who intend to cause problems are identified and where possible restricted from entering shops and public houses.

“This helps create a safe environment for the public and local business.”

Sera Brook, landlady at the Albion Inn, Otley Street, said the return of the cameras was very welcome.

“This will only give the people and businesses in the town more assurance and we will all benefit from having it in place. I’m really grateful the BID money we put in is being spent on this. It will make everyone feel safer on the streets,” she said.

Skipton BID is a business-led partnership that has worked for almost 10 years to improve the safety, vitality, cleanliness and visitor appeal of the town. It also supports and sponsors the Christmas Lights and events such as Sheep Day and Waterways Festival which help to increase footfall and boost trade.