Otley Business Awards2020 Logo

Autumn 2019 Update

Keep up to date with what’s been going on at Otley BID this Autumn; from our sponsorship of the Otley Business Awards to all things Christmas, Rent & Lease Agreement Support to Business Training!

Otley Business Awards

Friday 20th March 2020 sees the 6th annual Otley Business Awards. We are pleased to be one of the main sponsors and to support this fabulous business event which showcases the best that Otley has to offer!

Customers can nominate any business within the LS21 postcode for a prestigious award by completing a Nomination Form which can be found on the Otley Chamber of Trade website. Nominations close on 10th January 2020.

Otley BID Otley Business Awards

Photo credit : Winpenny Photography

Know Your Rights – Rent & Lease Advise

We recently worked with 2 businesses in the town to help resolve building repair disputes which had come to light recently through our face to face visits with business owners by our BID Champions Rachelle Atkin & Tim Wilkinson.



We are pleased to say that the disputes were resolved quickly and here’s some kind words that one of the business owners sent us after the work had been carried out:

“After years of a leaking roof and failed attempts from the landlord to do the necessary repairs, I am very grateful that Otley BID offered to step in and offer their assistance. I have had to close on several occasions due to the leaks being so bad which is devastating for any small business! After Otley BID wrote to the landlord directly, the work was undertaken in a matter of days and my business was back in full working order. This aspect of assistance to a local business from the BID is a most welcome contribution, one that I hadn’t realised was available until they visited me. Thank you again.”

Laura Collier – Ottah’s Leah

If your business is suffering in silence we can help. Please contact tim.wilkinson@otleybid.co.uk if you need free advice or assistance.

Business Training

Last month (November) we arranged 2 x Fire Safety Workshops for our member businesses. These workshops were Free to attend and help our Otley businesses to keep up with fire safety legislation.

Otley BID Fire Safety Training


We’re delighted that we have another 12 Otley business owners & employees fully trained in Emergency First Aid following our recent Free Training Workshop run by Ken at White Rose Training.

Here’s what a couple of our attendees had to say:

“I can highly recommend it the First Aid Training I recently attended. Ken ran an excellent course. Thank you to Otley BID for putting this on!” – Helen Wilkinson from Dowgill House B&B

“I’ve just completed the first aid training. Wonderful opportunity, thanks Otley BID and thank you Ken for delivering!” – Pippa Ridley of Etempa Solutions.

Gateway to Otley Project Survey

OTLEY BID Gateway to Otley Sculpture

Have your say!

Otley BID is always looking for new and innovative ways to encourage more people to use the businesses of the town centre.  We recently sent an email out to the mailing list of our businesses to gain feedback from our stakeholders about whether they would be happy for us to pursue a project of putting 2 large coreten steel sculptures (same material as the Angel of the North) on the roundabouts at either end of the by-pass (Bradford Road and Leeds Road).

What would the sculpture be?
A life size stag approx. 2.5m x 2.5m

The picture above is an idea, not the final design, we are thinking of a single stag, not a family (it would cost approx. £8k per roundabout for a family of 3).

Why a stag?
The idea is to have a strong “visual” at the gateways to the town that sticks in peoples minds even if they can’t remember the name of the town.  So it is more about attracting customers to our businesses from out of town than making residents happy, although happy residents are good too!

  • Here’s a snippet from the from www.chevinforest.co.uk to show the relevance of the stag / deer in Otley.
  • The Fawkes family also created a Deer Park and stocked it with exotic game (on land on the other side of the Holbeck water course). What we refer to today as the Danefield Estate would have been separated into Danefield Woods and Caley Deer Park. In the early 1900’s there are references to a small toll booth at which anyone wishing to use the private track through Danefield Woods from East Chevin Road would have had to pay a fee.
  • A sculpture of a living thing will appeal to people more on a sub-conscious level rather than an inanimate object e.g printing press/bicycle
  • A stag structure should immediately convey that Otley is; a natural place, a creative place, a bold place, a place with a strong identity, a striking (risk taking) place.

Why would this help my business?
We think it would encourage more people to visit the town rather than by-passing it.

We think it sends a positive message about our town, its businesses and their values.

We are keen to support some of the businesses which lie more on the outskirts of the town centre such as Waitrose, Wharfebank Mills and Leeds Road Business Park.

What would it cost?
Approximately £4,500 per sculpture, they could be done separately or together.

(For information, our spending on the Christmas lighting/marketing last year was around £10,000 and the Wednesday market entertainments are around £6,000 per year.)

The Results!
We had 28 people who responded to our recent survey.  It really helped to clarify our views on the project and we look forward to asking for your opinions about other potential projects over the coming months.

An overview of the results is that 63% thought it was a good idea and 27% thought it was a bad idea with the remainder being unsure.  60% were happy with the potential spend, while 30% were unhappy, and the remainder unsure.  Your views on whether the project would encourage visitors/customers to our businesses and increase pride in the town echoed the views of the BID directors with an almost exact 33/33/33% split between yes/no/don’t know.

On balance, when we asked ourselves the question “does this benefit our levy payers?” we felt that there was not enough evidence that this project would deliver enough benefit and, whilst we appreciate that nothing we do will make every levy payer happy, there was not sufficient enthusiasm at this point in time.

Christmas Trees

This year we will be funding 60% of the total cost of each tree you see above each of our fantastic Otley businesses. The remaining 40% of our budget has been spent on upgrading the existing lights around town, as well as introducing new areas of lighting where the previously was none.

This includes:

  • An upgrade of the large motif lights on streetlamps around town
  • Reinstate the string of lights which used to run down Tittybottle Park
  • All year round decorative lighting to the outside of the Buttercross. This will potentially be on a timer 8pm to midnight so as not to cause too much light pollution
  • All year round lighting of the ex-HSBC triangle within the trees, again on a timer so as not to cause too much light pollution.


We appreciate that this means that businesses will have to contribute £40 per tree to be supplied, lighting attached, installed and disposed of, but we feel that this is still a considerable saving compared to businesses supplying these themselves. It also gives us the opportunity to upgrade & introduce new lighting throughout the town as a whole which we feel was much needed to help us attract good footfall throughout the Christmas period.

Christmas Video – Visit Otley

As part of our commitment to encouraging visitors into the town, we are delighted to be part-funding this year’s Visit Otley Christmas video at a cost of £500. We can’t wait to see the final cut!


Photo Credit: Visit Otley

Christmas Newsletter

We have again teamed up with Visit Otley to fund an A5 double sided Christmas Newsletter which is an update from last year’s Christmas Guide. We hope that you will join us in encouraging everyone to #ShopLocalThisChristmas!


Bus Station Flower Display

As part of our ongoing relationship with Tatton Estates, owners of Orchard Gate, we are continuing to part-fund the beautiful floral wall decoration along the side of the Bus Station as a way of giving our visitors a warm welcome to the town. The display is maintained by our friends at Otley in Bloom.


North Bar Social Welcomed “The Lion of Flanders”

To celebrate the UCI World Championship races, Otley Pub Club twinned every pub in town with a different cycling nation, and contacted all the relevant National Embassies, High Commissions and National Tourist Boards for help.

The Belgian Embassy put them in touch with the tourist board for Flanders (VisitFlanders), who agreed to help organise an event at the pub twinned with Belgium – North Bar Social on Bondgate, which was temporarily called ‘The Flemish Lion’ to celebrate Belgian ex-World Champion Cyclist, Johan Museeuw’s visit.


Photo credit: Otley Pub Club

On Friday the 27th of September, Johan arrived at North Bar Social along with around 30 other cyclists on an organised cycle ride from Harrogate ahead of the UCI World Championships. They were greeted by our Chair, Tom Hatley, the Otley Town Mayor, Councillor Peter Jackson; and the Otley Bellman, Terry Ford. Otley BID not only co-sponsored the whole Otley Pub Club project, along with Otley Town Council, but had also paid for the provision of food for the riders. O’Deli café and Prosecco Bar had provided the sandwiches, and the centrepiece of the buffet was a specially-made pork pie from Middlemiss butchers. The pie – which had the words “de leeuw van vlanderen” baked into the crust as a further tribute to Johan Museeuw – was presented to him by Peter Middlemiss before being cut and shared between the cyclists.

Cyclists on the ride came from a number of different countries, and were delighted to see the Mayor and Bellman in their traditional costumes. Johan even grabbed the bell himself and rang it to announce when the ride was leaving on its way back to Harrogate! They were also extremely impressed with the pork pie – which was something many of them had never tasted before – and the buffet as a whole. North Bar social were thanked for providing the location and the free hot drinks, and Otley Pub Club expressed their thanks to Otley BID for funding the refreshments as well as supporting the project as a whole. Without this sort of financial help, Otley Pub Club wouldn’t be able to organise projects that highlighted the name of Otley in the media and attracted tourists to the town.

Otley Town Crier Competition

In September, the nation’s top town criers gathered in Otley in a bid to be crowned one of the country’s loudest hailers.

Otley BID were delighted to provide £300 funding for the second annual Otley Open Town Crier Competition which sees contestants from around Britain attempt to outshout each other to take top spot.


Otley Events

We were pleased to contribute towards the following recent events with the overall aim of increasing footfall into the town:

Family Trick or Treat – Children wear their scariest costumes and go Halloween Trick or Treating amongst participating shops and businesses of Otley in October!


Otley Story Walk – Organised by Otley Writers in August as a fun way of promoting literature. It’s members, working with a local illustrator, created a batch of new stories and poems – for children and adults – which were displayed in the windows of 15 town centre businesses. Otley BID contributed prizes of book tokens for the competition winners.

We’re Here to Help

Is there anything that you are bursting to tell us that we should be doing? Don’t keep ideas to yourself, speak to us, we may be able to make your idea a reality. Please email us at info@otleybid.co.uk.

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