Otley Chamber: Working for business vitality in Otley

Otley Chamber was established in the 1930s and has consistently spoken out on behalf of local businesses. Our Membership reflects the wide range of businesses in the town and includes High Street names as well as numerous specialist retailers and service providers. Otley & District Chamber of Trade and Commerce's key objective is to promote, improve and represent the interests of business of Otley and the surrounding district and act as an informed voice for local businesses. We co-ordinate with other agencies to make sure we are involved in any major issues which might affect the town, such as having a delegate representing the Chamber on the Town Co-Ordination Group, which co-operates with Otley Town Partnership, Otley Town Council and Otley BID to promote the mutual interests of Otley

A. A list of OCTs past achievements includes:-

• Reintroduction of Good Service Award competition, now the prestigious Otley Business Awards
• Otley Show ‘Shop Local’ marquee, free to members
• Availability of the use of OCTs logo by Chamber members
• Attendance at Otley Carnival to publicise members businesses/‘Shop Local and Otley Prospers’ publicity campaign
• A forum for discussion and debate for Otley businesses
• Parking – defence of the 4 hour parking allowance at Sainsbury’s and successful campaign against pay parking meters on Kirkgate
• Successful campaign for street crossings on Kirkgate and Manor Square
• Sponsorship of waste bins
• Stone town entrance signs
• Compilation and distribution of Otley Economic Bulletin, local business news, now in its 11th year
• Maintenance of a register of town centre empty shops on the Chambers website
• Contributions to Otley Matters community magazine
• Alert to members of scams
• Summer and other social evenings
• Christmas Light Up Otley campaign – mini trees supplementing Otley Town Councils decorations
• Establishment of Otley Christmas Tree Festival – drawing approx. 3000 visitors

Some Chamber initiatives have lapsed, are dormant, have been superseded or are now undertaken by Otley BID

•    Introduction of Otley Loyalty Card scheme
•    Establishment of free WiFi throughout the Market Place area
•    Establishing Otley Victorian Fayre, now an independent group
•    Establishing Otley in Bloom (including civic floral displays), now an independent group
•    Otley Town Watch - shop security network
•    Otley Shop Heroes pamphlet and trail
•    Trial of Late Night Christmas Shopping initiative
•    Pressure on badly maintained premises to improve signage and repair
•    Promotion of antiques fairs to address the lack of an antique shop in town
•    Manufacture and gift to the town of 210 flags for use on celebratory occasions
•    Removal of date expired planning and highways notices from street furniture
•    Removal of excessive and redundant signage (in association with Leeds CC Highways dept.)
•    Can you think of any other issues/concerns the Chamber could be promoting?

A. Membership is this year again held down to £52 per annum, proportionately less for new members who join towards the end of the calendar year, although those within the Otley Business Improvement District boundary have their membership fee paid by Otley BID.
A. Membership offers the opportunity to contribute to the future of the business community of Otley. As a member you get to have your say and add your experience on current issues, problems and their solutions and potential improvements to the local business environment. Other benefits include a listing on OCT’s website, access to information about legislation, training, funding and other relevant matters and networking opportunities with other members
A. We’re all busy. Meetings are every second month and conducted in an informal, relaxed environment. If you would like to attend please do, if not then your support, simply by membership, is welcome Meetings often included business related presentations by visiting guests (e.g. business rate reductions, Welcome To Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Police etc.) No immediate financial commitment is necessary; please feel free to initially attend as a guest