Working towards a Greener Skipton and Craven District

Contributing to the health of the business and community structure within which Skipton BID operates, we support the 2030 Carbon Neutral Goal set by Craven District Council in 2019, thereby helping to construct an environment in which businesses can thrive.

By Liz Smailes, Marketing & Communications Officer, Skipton BID


The events of 2020, for many a forced reconnection with nature and immediate surroundings, have amplified the message that an environmentally aware business considers more than just profits — it considers its impact on the immediate surrounding of society and the environment.

Under the third objective of our 2019- 2024 business plan, ‘Attractive and Clean’, we’re dedicated to improving our town. Regardless of the nature of your business, a clean and attractive town is a must. Over the last ten years, Skipton BID has invested substantial amounts of money into improving the ‘look’ of the town centre area – but there is more to be done, and we have to act now in response to climate change and the opportunities presented to us out of the Covid-19 imposed lockdown, In our third term it’s imperative that we work together with local authorities and sustainable business groups for a collective approach to ensure Skipton gains a reputation for its cleanliness and attention to detail.

Responding to a new business and lifestyle under Covid-19

In April 2020, Skipton BID launched a digital campaign #AtHomeInSkipton in response to the first lockdown. Businesses and communities in Skipton went to great lengths in March 2020 to adapt their offering, ensuring our residents had access to different experiences and essential facilities. In the absence of printed media and leaflets, awareness quickly moved online and hashtags became a way to navigate realtime community offerings and references.

As the town establishes itself still living with the coronavirus in circulation, dipping in and out of tiers and lockdowns, our businesses remain dedicated to ensure Skipton is not only the happiest place to live, but also a healthy place to live, work, study and visit. In the absence of a town networking forum to physically meet, #AtHomeInSkipton is transforming from a B2C intention into a B2B role, and thereby represent the business community as we go through some significant developments for our town. In doing so we encourage businesses to use and follow #SustainableSkipton as we embrace this period to revisit our lifestyles, adopting sustainable initiatives designed for thriving local communities and ecosystems.

Climate Emergency Strategic Plan

On 6th August 2019, Craven District Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency, committing to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030, both for its own operations and, together with partners, across the District of Craven. A Strategic Plan setting out how a carbon neutral district could be achieved was agreed on 25th February 2020. On 24th August, Skipton BID held a networking and presentation evening at which Craven District Council introduced the Climage Emergency Strategic Plan, The Heritage Action Zone and from Skipton BID introduced the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These had already been indentified and work commenced by Skipton Town Council. Skipton BID was then handed the baton to continue that work.

As we approach the first anniversary of the Climate Emergency Strategic Plan, Craven District Council and Skipton Business Improvement District Ltd. are holding an afternoon of talks and discussions with businesses, community groups and other partners who are working with us to achieve a more sustainable Skipton and Craven Disrict. The event will take place via Zoom on Thursday 21st January with key presentations from guest speakers and service providers that are Skipton BID levy payers. There will also be an update from Craven District Council on the plans for the Skipton Station Triangle Masterplan and the Council’s new approach to local, sustainable procurement. Please take a look at the broad and engaging agenda below, we hope you will take the time to join us and discover how your business can help to shape the future of Skipton.

The approach to Skipton from Keighley, with the Leeds to Liverpool Canal in the foreground, entering Skipton and showing the Yorkshire Dales in the distance. Yorkshire has a total population of over 5.3 million people, larger than the population of Scotland. The latest census for Skipton in 2011 shows a population of 14,623 . The town was listed in the 2018 Sunday Times report on Best Places to Live in northern England and most recently, a Rightmove Survey in 2020 polled Skipton as the Happiest Place to Live. Image: Paul Steele

2pm – 5pm:  Sustainable Business and Enterprise in Skipton and Craven

2:00pm – Introduction (Paul Shevlin, Chief Executive, CDC)

2.10pm – Arla’s Plans for Sustainability (Ben Wood, Sustainability Manager, Arla Foods)

2.40pm – Sustainable Tourism in Yorkshire (James Mason, Welcome to Yorkshire)

3.10pm – Sustainable Buildings and Estate Planning (Selby Stocks, Rural Solutions, Skipton)

3.40pm – Comfort Break

3.50pm – Sustainable Development Goals (Colin Curtis, Support the Goals)

4.20pm – The Skipton Station Triangle Masterplan (David Smurthwaite, CDC)

4.45pm – Local, Sustainable Procurement (Rob Atkins, CDC)

5.00pm – Close

5:30pm 8:30pm: Sustainable Communities in Craven

Springs Branch canal in Skipton town centre and the towpath leading to Skipton Castle Woods.
Image: Stephen Garnett

5.30pm – Introduction (Paul Shevlin, Chief Executive, CDC)

5.40pm – The Climate Emergency – Where are we now: opportunities for action in 2021 and at COP26 (David Howlett, Global Resilience Partnership)

6.00pm – Towards an Integrated, Sustainable Public Transport Network in Craven (Colin Speakman, Vice Chair, Dalesbus)

6.25pm – Developing Community Action – ACE Settle (Sarah Wiltshire, Co-ordinator, Action on the Climate Emergency Settle)

6.40pm – Innovation and Local Renewable Energy (Andy Boyle, Otley Community Energy)

6.55pm – Comfort Break

7.10pm – Discussion Session 1 – Where are we now?

7.50pm – Discussion Session 2 – Where are we going next?

8.30pm – End

To register your attendance at this informative online event, please email Rob Atkins at


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