What’s Happening with Indie Harrogate?
It’s already mid-October and it feels like ages since I published those first blogs talking about the indie situation in Harrogate.
I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that we instructed Leeds-based design firm Oslo Agency this month and they are currently working on the branding for Indie Harrogate. Why a Leeds based firm I hear you shout – well, we already have a relationship with them. We know that Alex and Ellie are a talented pair who create amazing designs that deliver fantastic value, and they are really passionate about the project.
We have asked them to create something fun, modern and a little bit different. We know that Harrogate is full of history and we want to acknowledge whilst trying to move the image past some of the stereotypes that people immediately reach for when you mention our town.
We think they’ve found a great idea that not only hits the brief above, but also links to some really nice symbology and is versatile moving forward for multiple forms of media. we’re now waiting to see this idea develop.
Local firm The Content Market have agreed to be our copy writers/editors and they have already produced a couple of examples of what content a profile page in the guide could include.
We are intending to use Harrogate’s biggest printer Platinum Print to produce the guides.
Some really positive meetings with various local businesses and organisations with a view to distribution and sponsorship suggest a genuine demand for the publication to move forward.
Assuming support for the project is there amongst the indie business community we will be able to get things moving quickly with the aim of being ready for a March 2018 launch.
Once the branding has been completed and we have the full detail on what Indie Harrogate will be able to offer we’d love to speak with you about it. Major Tom’s Social have offered their venue as a location for what I’m calling ‘The Pitch Party’ and we’ll be communicating the date for that event very soon. We’ll also look to arrange a couple of alternative dates/times where you can come and see a pitch if you aren’t available for the first one.
We aren’t rushing this project. There have been false dawns around this type of thing in the past and I won’t allow this to be one. I’ve met with many people around town and there is real appetite to create something great in Harrogate that brings us closer together as an indie community. It’s important to me, as I know it is to many of you too, and I’m conscious that I’ll only get one chance to stand up in front of a group of my peers and convince you to trust me to lead this thing.
If you know me personally (and even some of you that don’t) it’s very likely I’ll be knocking on your door in the run up to this meeting, because I am very keen to get a core group of businesses committed early.
Other Indie News
Council Announce Support for Indie Businesses
The Harrogate Advertiser reported some very positive news that came from Harrogate Borough Council last week. £10,000 has been allocated to support joint action by independent businesses working together to market themselves collectively. I will certainly be enquiring about how we can access some of that money to support Indie Harrogate.
Lengs grocers, a long-serving retailer on Cold Bath Road, has been sold and will reopen shortly as Cold Bath Deli. You can follow updates on their twitter account @Cold_Bath_Deli.
In a bad month for indie grocers Stray FM reported that Lowther Fruit Stores on Beulah Street have announced they will be closing today (Sat 14th October 2017) after 71 years of business.
Another organisation in the indie promotion space has launched recently. IndependentHarrogate.com has been created by three Harrogate residents who are looking to garner support for indies. I think if you are an indie business owner you can head over to their website and see whether their offer appeals to you, if it does great.
I did just want to be clear that I am not involved in this scheme because one of their founders is called Paul and a number of people have been in touch asking the question. I wrote in my previous blog that the discount card model is not something that Indie Harrogate will pursue, I stand by that statement.