What has Skipton got to be happy about?
Well quite a lot in Skipton, it would seem.
Over the last few years the town has rated highly in survey after survey based on a number of factors that mostly equate to one thing: quality of life.
Those who live, work and do business in Skipton are lucky enough to do so in one of the finest places in the country.
But that’s not just a happy accident.
There is a strong sense of community in the town, and a unique spirit, and the Skipton BID plays a big part in that.
Take a look at the recent Christmas Lights Switch On as an example. It was a fantastic event that brought the whole town together in spectacular style.
The BID played a major role in making that happen, and without BID funding, future switch-ons – and future Christmas light displays – will be on a much smaller scale.
The visitors’ brought in by the BID sees money generated for EVERY business in the town – those who take money directly from the visitors will then often spend it in shops and on services in the town.
There are also the Christmas Markets, Sheep Day, Skipton Waterway Festival, the International Puppet Festival, and many other events and festivals that are supported by the BID, and would either not happen or be much lower key if it were not for that support.
And what about the way the town looks? The BID’s financial support for the tireless work in Skipton In Bloom allows those remarkable volunteers to keep our town looking attractive all year round.
Shops and pubs – and their customers – feel safer as a result of the BID’s work in setting up the Skipton Crime Prevention Partnership and the recent funding of CCTV cameras in the town.
Those initiatives have had significant impact. Don’t just take our word for it; this is what Sgt Paul Evans of Skipton Police says of the BID: “It really has made a big difference in helping us reduce crime and disorder in Skipton.”
The BID has also helped many smaller groups with things like play area refurbishment, pitch funding, grants for events for children and many, many, other things.
The work of the BID might not always seem to have a direct impact on individual residents or even some businesses.
But the cumulative effect of the work done by the BID over the last ten years has played a big role in the strong sense of wellbeing residents and businesses here feel.
The BID plans to do even more to make sure Skipton continues to be recognised as not just the best place to live in Yorkshire, but in the whole country.
We can only do that with a YES vote in the forthcoming ballot.