Welcome to our latest Newsletter
So here's VisitCastlegate April newsletter, coming as it does on the eve of the start of a new visitor season - can the weather possibly be as good as last year?
Let's hope so because there's so much to see & do to take advantage of all that Knaresborough has to offer.
News in brief
Harrogate Council is set to move into property development.
Harrogate Borough Council's new commercial housing company is called Bracewell Homes Ltd and its first board meeting will be on April 1. The business's key focus will be on the purchase, development, sale and leasing of dwellings, as a commercial venture for the borough & that includes Otley and Ilkley which are areas that have already been identified as providing a business opportunity. The company name was chosen after a comprehensive appraisal of domain names that were currently available. Coincidentally, Harrogate Borough Council announced that it had made more than £3.5million from selling property it owned between 2014-2018.
Separate claims were made about the windfall by declaring "That is money we are investing in our parks and gardens, swimming pools and leisure centres" which is potentially good news for Knaresborough as consultants are currently assessing the case for a brand new swimming pool and leisure centre for Knaresborough.
Perhaps from Knaresborough's perspective, one of the first purchases could be the row of empty shops on the high street, which have cumulatively been empty for decades. “Once the council has made an offer to buy the properties there will be some discussion around that offer I am sure. I want those discussions to be quick and for a date to be set when compulsory purchase powers will be used to move the issue forward should those discussions be unsuccessful,” Knaresborough town Councillor Ed Darling said.
Reducing pollution & improving pupil welfare.
A Park and Stride scheme has been launched to ease school gate parking. Parents and children who routinely arrive at school by car are being encouraged to “park and stride” instead in a scheme introduced at King James School. Parents and carers can apply for a park and stride parking
permit that will allow them to park free in the car park for up to 20 minutes at school dropping off and picking up times.
Councillor Phil Ireland, cabinet member for sustainable transport at Harrogate Borough Council and Knaresborough Town Mayor, added: “Walking is not only great for your health and wellbeing, but also helps alleviate some of the congestion around schools. The car park is only a short walk away so I do hope lots of people take full advantage of this incentive.”
But it’s not all good news from Harrogate Council
Tax rises and job cuts are on the cards & new figures reveal for the first time that stress and depression are the leading cause of staff absences.
Key points announced by Harrogate council are proposals over the next two years to hike the council tax by 2.99 per cent, and implement a series of organisational reviews into parks and environmental services aimed at reducing expenditure by at least £511k.
At the same time, new figures have shown that stress and depression were found to be the leading cause of staff absence at Harrogate Borough Council at the
end of 2018, prompting Liberal Democrat Councillor Pat Marsh to ask the council's overview & scrutiny committee whether there was any correlation between heightened levels of mental health leave and job cuts.
And yet another bank closes.
Barclays Bank announced its intention to close the Knaresborough branch on May 17. The decision countermands previous reassurances about the branches future and immediately prompted appeals to the bank for a stay of execution, Locals know that the precedent to close bank branches is well established in small towns round here and most have made adjustments to their routines - adjustments that will most assuredly be to the detriment of local shops, businesses & other service providers, who all feel the effect of declining footfall.
Local retailer Andy Grinter comments "I'm not sure Knaresborough will ever become a cashless town, even when HBC installs free wifi in the town centre - but banks pulling out does underline the direction of travel. In my view shops and businesses focusing on growth should embrace digital AND celebrate being 'face to face' with customers.
Castlegate, for example, where owners are going to great creative lengths to attract & engage customers, is great for experiential shopping. Shoppers can purchase things, make things and learn things because of the range of shops & share teach courses available & it's all down to the accumulated expertise of owners who are really keen to share their skills."
Could Knaresborough Castle be rebuilt in plastic?
Since 2007, German artist Jan Vormann has used tens of thousands of the colourful bricks to patch crumbling holes in architectural structures around the world and the hope is that is next project will be to fully repair the walls of Knaresborough Castle with a record breaking 868 million bricks. It would make it the single largest structure made predominantly of plastic in the whole of Yorkshire. The bricks imitate the brick or cobblestone-constructed buildings he often “repairs”, but on a miniature scale. This will be of an entirely larger order of repair. Having started spontaneously patching-up surfaces in Bocchignano, Italy, Vormann has since employed the technique on walls in nearly 40 cities across Europe, Central America, Asia and the United States. The artist is holding talks with lots of people!
Have you played the Locals' Lottery?
THE LOCAL LOTTO is an exciting weekly lottery that raises money for good causes in Harrogate District. All good causes supported by the lottery will benefit Harrogate District and its residents. Play the lottery, support Harrogate District - it’s that simple! Tickets for the lottery cost just £1 per week. Each ticket has a 1 in 50 chance to win a prize each week, with a top prize of £25,000! That’s a better chance of winning than the National Lottery or the Health Lottery! Each ticket will consist of 6 numbers and each number will be between 0 and 9. There will be a draw every Saturday night when a 6 digit winning combination will be picked. Prizes will be given to players with tickets that match the first or last 2-6 numbers from the winning combination. Match all 6 and you win the JACKPOT!
Thank you Andy Grinter
Choose | Use | Enthuse
Talk about the eyes of the World being on us, 2019 is going to be massive
ExploreGB 2019 is coming to Harrogate 8-10 May
What is it?
ExploreGB, is the UK's largest travel trade event and its being held in Harrogate this year, which means hundreds of international buyers from countries across the globe will meet right here on our doorstep to do business with tourism suppliers from the UK and Ireland.
Harrogate hosts the 2019 UCI Road World Championships
22 and 29 September
Yorkshire is aiming to deliver the most inclusive, innovative and inspiring Road World Championships in the history of the UCI & Harrogate will be the focal point for the Championships and host the finish of every race over the nine days of competition.
When does the Tourist season start & end?
Knaresborough Castle and Courthouse Museum will be open from Monday 8 April to Sunday 22 September inclusive, plus half-term Monday 28 October to Friday 1 November at 11am until 4pm Monday to Sunday.
Season tickets Child, adult, concession and family season tickets are available for Knaresborough Castle, from £6.70 - £20.00 for as many visits as you like for one year.
The castle grounds are open all year round, 24 hours a day.
Following in the bare footsteps of such illustrious international art galleries as the Palais de Toyko in Paris and Australia's National Gallery, Art in the Mill has decided to host nude tours of a special exhibition called: 'Barely Yorkshire' when it starts in a few weeks time.
The nude tours have already caught the eye of several local naturist and nudist clubs. and Clothes Free Knaresborough will be one of the first to explore the artwork without the shackles of clothing. Other groups are expected to reveal themselves as word spreads.
The exhibition, featuring the works of artists such as Stu Chaffer, Annie Rank & Willy Golightly, runs until May 4th.
Businesses can now buy their stock of Blue Sacks for commercial waste online and collect them from Knaresborough Library, saving themselves the inconvenience of having to go to Harrogate Council offices on Springfield Road.
Follow this link, selecting Trade Waste, then choose 'B' Buy trade waste sacks
Knaresborough - Shops & Businesses