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Exciting times for Hambleton's market towns

Published on Friday, 22nd December 2017

Business Network round up - Sue Thompson in Chapters Deli with Rachel Conway, waitress

Business networks have been set up in Hambleton’s six market towns in a bid to make them more vibrant.

As part of a district council initiative – Hambleton ‘A Place to Grow’ – council officers are working with local business leaders to ensure the towns evolve to meet future needs.

2017 saw the networks in Bedale and Easingwold launched and those in Thirsk, Stokesley, Great Ayton and Northallerton go from strength to strength.

In Stokesley the monthly Farmers’ Market was awarded the accolade of being one of the best in the country and there was a third Stokesley Food Week in October. 

Sue Thompson (pictured in Chapters Deli with Rachel Coway,waitress), founder of the town’s Thirsty Thursday business network, said “The town will work to develop its food specialism in 2018.  And thanks to a grant from Hambleton District Council, Thirsty Thursday will develop too, raising the profile of the group and further improving its offer to members.”

Over in Great Ayton, the Business Forum focussed its efforts on organising events, bringing residents, visitors and businesses together and firmly established its Christmas Fayre with more than 2000 people attending – double the previous year. 

In Northallerton, the Northallerton Business Network was rebranded with a new website and is working to forge a closer relationship with the Northallerton BID.

In Bedale, a new business network was born - #BrandBedale - its first event was a celebration of all things Yorkshire, on Yorkshire Day when the town was the busiest it has been since the Tour de France in 2014. 

Businesses in Easingwold saw #WoldClass launched, bringing businesses together as a group for the first time to promote the town.  With the support of Hambleton District Council, members developed a new visitor website -

And In Thirsk, following the town’s publicity as a finalist in the Great British High Street competition and the activities of the Yarnbombers, work is ongoing to re-focus and relaunch Thirsk and District Business Association.  Activities being planned include new events to strengthen business cohesion and an increased focus on town centre retail.