Developing ‘Creative Culture’

Skipton Business Improvement District (BID) has played a large part in developing a ‘creative culture’ for the town over the last ten years, says one of the many groups it has supported.

Skipton Brass is among the organisations the BID has helped since it was created in 2009.

It has assisted organisations in culture and the arts, local groups, sporting events, and community activities.

BID manager Geraldine Thompson believes this work is a vitally important part of what the BID does.

“Our main role is obviously supporting businesses in the town. They pay the levy and they are why we are here,” she said.

“But supporting artistic endeavour and sporting activity and helping develop community spirit is vital for a healthy and thriving community – and a thriving community is vital for business success.”

Voting is now underway in the ballot to decide if Skipton BID will be renewed for a third term.

A YES vote will mean £800,000 of funding will be unlocked to be invested in the town, with the three key tenets in the BID business plan being Visit Skipton, Business Support, and Attractive and Clean.

These areas will see the BID developing the Visit Skipton brand and supporting a programme of events to encourage more people to come to the town; supporting business initiatives including its schemes to make the town safer and more secure; and investing in and further improving the attractiveness and cleanliness of Skipton.

But it will also continue to offer support for those groups that enrich cultural life or improve community facilities for the town.

In recent years it has supported Skipton Brass, Friends of Aireville Park, Skipton Camerata,  The Coulthurst Craven Sports Centre’s all-weather pitch, Team Ketchup for their Kids Comic Collective, and the Craven Development Education Centre.

© Tom Holmes / www.TomHolmes.Photography

Skipton Brass has no doubt as to how much impact the BID has had on not just the band itself, but the whole town.

“At Skipton Brass we fully support Skipton BID as we believe it has played an integral part in the development of the town over the past few years,” said committee member Joanna Barber. 

“The BID doesn’t just put on and support the events on the High Street; it puts money back into the groups and organisations within the local community throughout the year and creates a creative culture for the town which provides numerous opportunities and experiences for both locals and visitors alike.”

Friends of Aireville Park are fundraising for a new Children’s play area and have also benefitted from BID support.  

“We have nearly successfully completed the first phase, due to the generosity of the local community, including a grant for £7,500 from BID,” said Fiona Protheroe of the group.  

Friends of Aireville Park breaking ground on the new playground.

“Without their support we wouldn’t have the fabulous musical instruments in the play area. The sound the xylophone makes is beautiful, and we are sure it will delight and entertain children for many years to come.”