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Ilkley BID welcomes three new voluntary directors

L-R: Colin Butler, Garry Wilkinson, Sarita Prasha and Chris Stapleton

The Ilkley Business Improvement, a business-led and business-funded organisation, has welcomed the appointment of three new voluntary directors to its board as well as a previous director.

Chris Stapleton, General Manager of the Box Tree Restaurant; Garry Wilkinson, Store Manager of Go Outdoors, and Colin Butler, Manager of Friends of Ham, were officially appointed as board directors at the BID Annual General Meeting in October and will represent the hospitality and retail sectors of the town.

Sarita Prasha, General Manager of the Ilkley Tesco store, makes a welcome return to the board after taking a well deserved sabbatical.

They will be working closely with the BID team, board members and other partners and stakeholders to continue to grow the local economy and improve facilities for the business community, as well as boosting visitor numbers and raising the overall profile and appeal of Ilkley as a great place to do business.

They join at an important time as Ilkley BID is currently in a consultation period with businesses and organisations to help it set its priorities for a second five-year term. The BID’s first term closes at the end of May 2024 and a new ballot will be held in March 2024 to gauge support for this second term.

Chris Stapleton of the award-winning Box Tree Restaurant says: “I’m proud to join the BID board as I believe it’s hugely important to have a collective voice for business and to continue attracting people to visit our town and its amazing businesses.

“One of Ilkley BID’s initiatives, the Discover Ilkley brand, is a huge asset for the town and plays a key role in marketing the town to a wider audience. The Discover Ilkley website has been cited by job applicants as a point of reference when researching Ilkley as a place to work as well as used by visitors when planning a trip to the town.”

Garry Wilkinson of the new Go Outdoors Express store, is also keen to support the town saying: “Ilkley BID is funded by businesses on behalf of businesses; they are literally investing in their town for the collective good of everyone, which is vital in these difficult times to help support the local economy.

“Furthermore, I am keen to take advantage of the great support offered by Ilkley BID and passionate about making Ilkley an even better place for residents, businesses and visitors.”

Colin Butler from Friends of Ham shares this sentiment and adds: “I’m looking forward to working with the team to help drive the BID’s initiatives to bring about further positive change. It’s an exciting time to be involved and we’ve been buoyed by the many uplifting comments from businesses about the positive impact Ilkley BID is having on the town.”

Ian White, Chair of Ilkley BID said: “The team and existing board members are all delighted that Chris, Garry and Colin have joined the BID team as they bring a wealth of business, retail and hospitality experience to the table and are extremely proactive and committed. And we’re pleased to welcome Sarita back to the board and take advantage once again of her exceptionally strong managerial and commercial expertise. Their appointment to the BID board

and the sectors they represent mean that Ilkley businesses have a genuine voice in deciding and directing how they want the trading environment around them to be improved.”

If you have any questions about Ilkley BID, please email


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