Press release issued : 26 May 2017
Businesses support bid to be crowned Champion of Champions
At a business breakfast meeting held last week more than forty business leaders were unanimous in their support for the 'Rooting for Harrogate' campaign to see Harrogate crowned Champion of Champions in this elite category of the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom awards.
The meeting, which was held by courtesy of the Cedar Court Hotel and chaired by Jean Macquarrie Editor of the Harrogate Advertiser series which is backing the campaign, heard from a number of speakers including the Chair of Visit Harrogate, Caroline Bayliss. She said: "Harrogate doesn't just happen. 'Brand Harrogate' is based on the elegance and style of our town supported by its floral and spa heritage. There is any army of people, including volunteers and businesses, who make it a place people want to live, work and visit.
"And Britain in Bloom is one of the elements that proves year after year that Harrogate wears the floral crown. I was lucky enough to be at Chelsea Flower Show last week and visited the Welcome to Yorkshire stand. That day they had been approached by a group of travel agents wanting to bring visitors from the Americas to visit major gardens."
It is things like winning Britain in Bloom that makes sure Harrogate gets more than its fair share of visitors which clearly demonstrates there is a commercial as well as a community value to the In Bloom campaign.
Caroline added: "We are multi gold award winners regionally and nationally and Harrogate is the only town ever to have twice won Europe in Bloom. Wins like this support Harrogate Borough Council in its choice of generously budgeting for the Parks and Environmental Services Team in this time of tight council budgets. They know our floral displays and beautiful parks and gardens are a major reason people visit our district. If the council did not have the economic arguments of tourism for this spending that picture could be very different and you as businesses and we as residents would suffer."
A range of ideas for business support was produced for the meeting and offers of help are flooding in. From simply displaying Rooting for Harrogate window stickers to fully decorating windows to plans for a 'floral battle bus', litterpicks, free photography, videos and virtual tours and even our new Mayor, Cllr Anne Jones came up with the brilliant idea of 'Business BUDies.
Harrogate is one of just seven towns in the country to have been chosen by the national judges to enter Champion of Champions and the only town in Yorkshire. By brilliant synergy we will be judged on 1 August which is Yorkshire Day.
Champion of Champions pits the best against the best. Harrogate will be up against Aberdeen, Elswick (Lancashire), Hillsborough (Ireland) Oldham (Greater Manchester) Portishead (South West) and St Peter Port Guernsey.
If any business would like to know more or pledge support they should email Lynne Mee, Publicity Officer, for the voluntary group Harrogate in Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photograph : Business leaders 'Rooting for Harrogate' in the gardens at Cedar Court Hotel