Press Release “BID decision vital to future of Skipton” – says Castle owner

Skipton Castle has stood for almost a thousand years, and is one of the best preserved medieval Castles in the country; it attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.

Now the owner of Skipton Castle says the town is facing another important decision in its history – one that could have consequences if it goes the wrong way.

Sebastian Fattorini was involved with moves to set up Skipton BID ten years ago, and he believes it has helped to transform the town in that period.

And he says it is vital that the levy-paying businesses vote YES in the renewal vote in January next year to allow that ongoing work to continue.

The Fattorini family has owned the castle since 1956, having been involved in the fabric of commerce of the town since setting up a jewellery business at the lower end of the High Street in 1827.

Sebastian took over as administrator around 20 years ago, and had no hesitation in joining those who worked to set up the BID – one of the first in the north – when it was mooted.

“Prior to the BID, it was the same small group of people who promoted and supported the events in Skipton. What the bid did was to increase the resources so that the events could be bigger and better and Skipton promoted as a destination,” he said.

“The future of a vibrant town is a destination town. Skipton is a destination town. It has much to offer from the woods, market, canal, castle, and museum, attractive high street with its shops, cafés and restaurants against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales

“It is important to realise that all businesses in Skipton rely on a healthy local economy. The BID makes a significant contribution to supporting the local economy. It’s important that another term is voted in.”

Press Release – Skipton Puppet Festival future ‘hinges on a Yes vote’

An internationally acclaimed puppet festival is hoping to return to Skipton for the eighth time next year thanks to financial support from Skipton BID.

The Skipton International Puppet Festival is globally regarded as one of the best events of its kind and attracts thousands of people into the town.

Visitors come from all over the UK and abroad, with people travelling from Europe, Canada, America and Australia in the past.

But despite its success and popularity, the event relies on grant funding to happen – and that Arts Council funding is dependent on local partnership funding being in place first.

The BID has been a vital part of that partnership in recent years and has again agreed to provide 10 to 15 per cent funding for the cost of the event to allow it to apply for the Arts Council grant.

Festival director Liz Lempen says BID funding has kept the biennial festival, which is scheduled to take place from 4thto 6thOctober next year, going for the last four events.

And BID manager Geraldine Thompson says that anyone who wants to keep the festival – and the many other Skipton events the BID supports – going in future years must vote YES for renewal in January.

Liz said: “The festival has grown and it is now an impactful but expensive event to create.

“We cannot do it without a large grant from the Arts Council. Over the last decade as funding cuts have bitten deep the application process has become ever more competitive.

“Without local partnerships and partnership funding in place we would not have a strong hand to play. With generous commitment from the BID we can make our case to lever funding to Skipton.

“The BID has actually kept the festival going for the last four events, putting up funds and support in advance of funding applications.

“It has good reasons to do so. The festival brings people to the town, developing its cultural offer as a great place to live, work and play.

“The Puppet Festival literally puts Skipton on the map, developing the unique and characterful profile of the town both nationally and Internationally.

Photo courtesy of Blu Planet / Skipton Puppet Festival

“Local people love it, turning out in thousands to either participate or watch the spectacular puppet parade; the town loves it; and visitors flock from near and far.

“The arts community love it – it is a beacon for puppeteers. It also lays a definite claim to being the largest, most popular and definitely the friendliest celebration of family puppet theatre in the UK.”

Geraldine explained why it was so vital the BID came up with the funding to keep the puppet festival in town.

“Skipton International Puppet Festival has grown over its seven biennial editions into a major jewel in the crown of Skipton’s calendar of events,” she said

“Not only does the festival contribute to the happiness factor of life in Skipton but with about 15,000 visitors over the weekend, it also generates a significant audience from further afield contributing to the local economy.

“Visitors experiencing a brilliant weekend event set against the backdrop of charming and vibrant Skipton will undoubtedly return for a second dose of the town.”

She said that although 75 per cent of the funding comes from the Arts Council, the application for that grant funding was dependent on local support levels and funding.

“Tohave any kind of chance we must make the strongest application we can with a minimum of 10% partner funds in place and also show support from the locality in terms of local authority, business and community,” she said.

“Some of this can be in-kind support, but the more hard cash that is confirmed, the stronger the application.

“Local authorities have increasingly reduced or cut their community grant pots completely. Which brings us to the BID. For the past four festivals Skipton BID has come forward with a substantial 10 to 15% grant offer to lay the foundations for a realistic budget in advance of that crucial Arts Council application.

“Without the Arts Council grant, the festival can’t happen; without the BID, the Arts Council would not fund it.

“Therefore, in plain terms, if you want to see Skipton International Puppet Festival continue then please vote for the BID in January.”

Press Release – Waterway Festival is relying on BID Support

Skipton Waterway Festival is one of the big events in the town’s packed calendar – and it would not happen without BID support, says one of the owners of the family firm which organises it.

The canal-based festival attracts thousands of visitors into the town on the first May Bank Holiday weekend every year.

It is put on by Pennine Cruisers, and Zoe Venn, who owns the company with her dad and mum, Ian and Pamela Clarke, is very clear about what it would mean for the event if the BID isn’t renewed for a third term.

“Whenever I have conversations with people who are opposed to the BID, the first thing I say to them is that without the BID support, the Waterway Festival would not happen,” she said.

“The amount of financial support the BID gives us is vitally important for the festival, which is a non-profit making event.”

For the last ten years, the BID has financially supported the festival, along with many other events, including the Skipton Christmas Markets, the Skipton International Puppet Festival, and Sheep Day.

It has provided seed funding for new events, such as Skipton Car Show and Yarndale, as well as financial support for existing ones during that period, and plans to continue to develop and enhance the range of events and festivals in the town over the next five years if it levy payers vote YES for renewal in January’s ballot.

Zoe says the BID is not only vital for the Waterway Festival to continue, but for the good of the town as a whole.

“For Skipton as a whole, the BID is really important, but sometimes people aren’t aware or aren’t that interested in how things are actually funded,” she said.

“If we lost the BID, we would lose a lot of very important things that benefit the town. If people took a close look at a list of everything that could be lost if the BID isn’t renewed, I think they would quickly realise just how important it is to vote YES in January.”

The three-day Waterway Festival started in 2001 and attracts more than 10,000 visitors into Skipton.

Although it was originally run in partnership with the Canals and Rivers Trust (then British Waterways), Pennine Cruisers took on full responsibility for the event after five years.

Based around the Canal Basin, the event includes live music, family entertainment, stalls, crafts, rides, and water-based attractions.

Zoe says the non-profit making event relies on the funding the BID is able to provide them to keep going.

“Ten years ago, we were able to find money from other sources, but business is hard now and we just wouldn’t be able to get that same level of sponsorship and grant support,” she said.

“The Town Council helps with staffing and infrastructure, and Craven District Council gives us the space in the car park, but neither is likely to have the budgets any more to do anything else.

“To make the event work, we have all the costs of security, stewarding, setting up the stages and marquees, all the running costs. That’s where the BID money comes in.

“This is a not-for-profit event and it’s free for anyone who wants to come along and enjoy it. I genuinely believe we couldn’t do it without that money.

“Like all the festivals the BID supports, this one benefits the whole town. People might spend two or three hours enjoying our attractions, but then many of them will head to the town centre and walk down the High Street and into the shops, and have a drink or a meal. I’m absolutely certain it must boost footfall for the whole of the town.

“But it also provides something for this end of town as well and brings people down here to have a look what is on offer here.

“It’s a great free event for local residents to come to as well as visitors, and it undoubtedly brings in significant numbers of visitors.”

BID manager Geraldine Thompson said supporting festivals like this was vital and benefitted the whole town.

“Even if your own business doesn’t appear to benefit directly from the tens of thousands who visit each year for these events, it undoubtedly benefits indirectly,” she said.

“Visitors support businesses. Businesses support employees. Employees live in the town – and then spend money on local businesses and services.”

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.

Press Release – Town meaning business as ambitious plans launched

The ambitious five-year plan for the third term of Skipton BID will see £800,000 invested to continue to take the town forward.

Guests at the launch of the BID Business Plan were told it was “vital” to the town’s future well-being.

Details of the plan were unveiled by BID manager Geraldine Thompson at the event at the Black Horse.

They include significant work to improve the events and festivals offered by the town, continued improvements to the cleanliness and upkeep of the streets to make Skipton even more attractive, and a new raft of support for businesses as well as the continued funding of very successful crime reduction and safety initiatives.

The three key objectives the plan focuses on are entitled Visit Skipton, Business Support, and Attractive and Clean.

The investment will be split into £300,000 for Visit Skipton, and £250,000 for each of the others.

The plan also contains many testimonials from key players in the town stressing how important it is for a YES vote when the renewal ballot takes place in January.

The town’s biggest employer, Skipton Building Society, along with Skipton Town Council, Skipton Chamber of Trade & Commerce, and businesses and festivals in the town, all give their backing to the BID in the plan document.

SBS chief executive David Cutter states: “A thriving town is of huge benefit to our employees, and to our business in general. The combined investment of all levy payers is vital to Skipton and makes a real difference.”

The plan stresses the many areas to which the BID has made a difference over the last ten years as a result of the £1.5 million it has invested.

These include CCTV, Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, Visit Skipton, Skipton In Bloom, the Town Ambassadors, the Christmas Lights Switch On and the lights themselves, the many festivals and events the town hosts, including Sheep Day, the Waterway Festival, Skipton International Puppet Festival, and the Christmas Markets, Skipton Cycle Races, and the support given to businesses.

And it stresses that failure to support the BID would mean the loss of many of these and a reduction in the scope of all of them.

It also points out that many surrounding towns, including Colne, Keighley, Lancaster and Otley already have BIDs up and running, and others, including Bradford, Harrogate, Burnley, Ilkley, Ripon and Knaresborough are in development.

“It’s very clear that BIDs are here to stay. It’s not the time for Skipton to be left behind,” the plan states.

The three key objectives as laid out in the plan are:

  • Visit Skipton: We will continue to develop the Visit Skipton brand by investing in promotional and marketing initiatives aimed at maintaining and enhancing Skipton’s position as a high quality tourist destination. We will continue to support a programme of quality events and festivals aimed at attracting visitors and residents into the BID area.
  • Business Support: We will continue to support initiatives aimed at making our town a safer and more secure place to visit and to run a business. We will provide a ‘toolbox’ of services, training, data and information aimed at helping businesses improve the quality of their offer and make better informed choices.
  • Attractive and Clean: We will continue to invest in, and improve further, the attractiveness and cleanliness of our town. We will invest in appropriate infrastructure improvements in our town centre area.

In terms of Visit Skipton, the plan states: “Over the last five years, Skipton BID has developed the Visit Skipton brand into a regionally and nationally recognised destination management organisation, helping to promote the town and ensure Skipton holds on to its position as a tourist attraction in its own right. Skipton BID has also continued to support, enhance, seed fund and develop Skipton’s range of events and festivals.”

Over its next term the BID will continue to develop the Visit Skipton branding, redeveloping the website as the key source of information for visitors, promoting the town regionally and nationally, continuing to build relationships with coach and group travel operators, looking to promote Skipton to international markets, developing and enhancing social media promotion, and working with partner organisations to maintain and enhance the profile of the town.

The BID will be looking to support the development of Sheep Day into a week-long festival and look at celebrating the tenth anniversary of the very popular Flock to Skipton event in 2010, which the BID funded, with a new Flock Back to Skipton project.

It will also continue to develop and enhance the range of events and festivals in Skipton by helping to seed-fund and support new events and projects in the town, support the redevelopment and enhancement of the Waterway Festival and Christmas Markets, and support the development of the internationally renowned Puppet Festival as a high-quality event.

It will also look to bring in new initiatives to enhance the benefits of events and festival for the whole of the business community and for local residents.

For Business Support, the BID will look to improve substantially on the range of support services provided to businesses within the BID area.

This will include further development of safety and security measures aimed at making the town safer to live, work and visit – and much less attractive to opportunist criminals.

The BID will also develop a new ‘Toolbox’ of services and initiatives available to levy payers at either no cost or at very favourable rates.

The safety and security aspect will include continuing to fund and maintain the newly installed CCTV system in the town centre, to keep funding and developing the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, and to keep funding and promoting the ‘ShopWatch’ radio scheme.

The BID will also continue to fund and promote the S.T.A.N.D (Stopping Trouble and Night-time Disorder) for licensed premises, and will continue to fund and develop the Town Centre Ambassador Scheme.

It will also continue to fund and promote the ‘Best Bar None’ scheme for licensed premises and fund and promote additional security advice and assistance to levy payers.

As part of the BID Toolbox, it will continue to contribute to the funding of footfall counters and other data capture services, develop a ‘mystery shopper’ scheme to assist retail and other businesses, and continue to support and develop schemes aimed at encouraging the use of local providers, and look at promotional trails and sector-related printed and online materials.

It also plans to develop a portfolio of free and heavily discounted business training opportunities, a range of subsidised business support tools – including the provision of grant-finding software, and access to HR advice and staffing and business support schemes.

For Attractive and Clean, the BID will be focusing on keeping the town “looking great.”

“Over the last ten years, Skipton BID has invested substantial amounts of money in improving the ‘look’ of the town centre area – but there is more to be done,” the plan states.

“In the third term we will look to develop this further, aiming to ensure Skipton gains a reputation for its cleanliness and attention to detail.”

The work planned as part of that includes continuing to fund and support Skipton in Bloom community group in maintaining, enhancing and adding to the floral displays across the town.

The BID will also fund a new initiative to provide additional cleaning in the town centre every working day, to achieve a higher standard and specification of cleanliness.

It will also continue a scheme to improve the condition, cleanliness and attractiveness of ginnels and alleyways, continue with the provision of themed bunting, lamp post banners and other similar materials to brighten the town centre area, and keep working with landlords and business owners to enhance the look of empty properties and properties in general through seasonal window painting schemes.

With the help of partners, it will look at developing and funding a new five-year Christmas lighting scheme covering the whole of the town centre area, and developing a scheme to improve signage, signposting and other initiatives to ensure visitors can enjoy all parts of our town centre area.

It will also work with partners to improve and enhance the quality of seating and other street furniture within the town centre, and look at resolving the long-standing issue of unsightly railway bridges on the entrances to our town.

Geraldine said: “Skipton BID adds a huge amount to the vitality of the town but the benefits are not always obvious. By helping to make it an attractive place to visit, we’re not just bringing in tourists to spend money on gifts, food and accommodation, we’re encouraging people to move here to live, to work, to invest and create jobs – all of which helps to protect our future economy.

“The BID is embedded in the infrastructure of Skipton now and its work underpins the future prosperity of everyone who believes in our town.”

Press Release – Ambitious Plan for Skipton BID Unveiled

Skipton BID’s ambitious plans for the next five years are already receiving enthusiastic support.

DAVID CUTTER, Chief Executive, Skipton Building Society

The proposed Business Plan for the BID’s third term was unveiled to around 75 people at a reception last week with guests praising the “professionalism” of the launch and the quality of the plans being put forward to boost Skipton.

BID chairman Andrew Mear, who introduced the launch, said he believed people had gone away enthused by what they had heard.

And BID manager Geraldine Thompson, who presented the plan to BID levy payers and other invited guests, said she was delighted by the way the event had gone.

The plan outlines how the BID will invest £800,000 into supporting Skipton during its third term, which will begin in April next year if levy payers vote yes in the renewal ballot in January.

It focusses on three key areas: Visit Skipton, Business Support, and Attractive and Clean.

The investment will be split into £300,000 for Visit Skipton, and £250,000 each for the other two.

Geraldine explained that for Visit Skipton the BID would be looking at revamping the very successful Visit Skipton website, continuing to promote the town as a destination, and continuing to support and fund festivals and events.

She highlighted plans to build a week long festival out of the very popular Sheep Day and a new Flock Back to Skipton event to mark the tenth anniversary of the original.

She also spoke of the great success of the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership and the recent reintroduction of CCTV in the town under the Business Support heading, and said they would not exist without BID funding.

The BID plans to develop a new Toolbox of services for businesses in its third term.

FELICITY GREEN, Director, AWB Charlesworth Solicitors; LIZ SMITH, Relationship Manager, Nat West Bank. Co-organisers of Women@Work.

Under Attractive and Clean, Geraldine said they would be continuing to support Skipton In Bloom and would also be funding new initiatives to keep the town looking great, with a new street cleaning scheme, improved signage, and a five-year Christmas lighting plan.

It would also look at working with partners to improve the long-standing eyesores of the railway bridges on the way into Skipton and to enhance seating and other street furniture offered in the town centre.

Andrew said after the launch: “It was a very positive event. Geraldine did a great job of getting the plan across to people.

“I think the audience were very receptive to the plan and received the message positively. I really think they were enthused by the ideas for the third term.

“And it was great to see such a good turn-out. We were all very pleased about that.”

Businesses who were in attendance agreed.

Neil Roe, owner of Herriots Hotel on Broughton Road with his wife Michelle, said: “The launch demonstrated the professionalism of those involved in the work that is being done by the BID.

“I was pleased to see a key focus on value for money on the funds that are raised.

“The number of other towns that have or are setting up BIDs demonstrates the value of the process.

“Businesses need as much support as we can get and I believe the BID delivers that support uniformly across retail and leisure for Skipton.

“I would encourage those who have their doubts to look at and understand the range of activities the BID is involved in and the support services it offers.”

Venue Sports and Music Bar events manager Leah Pompey was very impressed by the launch and by the substance of the Business Plan.

“The ideas presented were great. The BID will always have our support.

“People need to realise how the BID does for the town. We just need to get that message across to them.”

Tina Botterill of Cool! Cards and Gifts on Coach Street said: “Skipton Bid has massively improved the footfall in the town through the support they give to many events through the year. 

“As a small independent retailer, I rely on tourists to boost the local trade and I fully support and believe in the BID for the next five years.”

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.