Borough of Harrogate

Coordinates: 53°59′25″N 1°32′28″W / 53.99028°N 1.54111°W / 53.99028; -1.54111
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Borough of Harrogate
Harrogate Council Offices
Coat of arms of Borough of Harrogate
Official logo of Borough of Harrogate
Shown within North Yorkshire
Shown within North Yorkshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial countyNorth Yorkshire
Admin. HQHarrogate
 • TypeHarrogate Borough Council
 • Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
 • Executive: 
 • MPs:Nigel Adams,
Andrew Jones,
Julian Smith
 • Total505 sq mi (1,308 km2)
 • Total164,105
 • Density320/sq mi (130/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ONS code36UD (ONS)
E07000165 (GSS)
Ethnicity96.9% White
1.0% Mixed
0.8% S.Asian
0.8% Chinese or other
0.6% Black[1]

The Borough of Harrogate was a local government district with borough status in North Yorkshire, England, from 1974 to 2023. Its council was based in the town of Harrogate, but it also included surrounding settlements, including the cathedral city of Ripon, and almost all of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At the 2011 Census, the borough had a population of 157,869.[2]

The borough was abolished on 31 March 2023, and its functions were transferred to the new unitary North Yorkshire Council on 1 April 2023.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the Masham and Wath rural districts, and part of Thirsk, from the North Riding of Yorkshire, along with the boroughs of Harrogate and the city of Ripon, the Knaresborough urban district, Nidderdale Rural District, Ripon and Pateley Bridge Rural District, part of Wetherby Rural District and part of Wharfedale Rural District, all in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The district was abolished by Government reforms on 31 March 2023 after 49 years of existence.

The district was part of the Leeds City Region, and bordered seven other areas; the Craven, Richmondshire, Hambleton, Selby and York districts in North Yorkshire and the boroughs of Bradford and Leeds in West Yorkshire. It fell primarily within the HG, LS and YO postcode areas, while a small part of it was within the BD area.

It was the county's fourth largest district, as well the seventh largest non-metropolitan district in England. It was previously the county's second largest district until 1 April 1996, when the parishes of Nether Poppleton, Upper Poppleton, Hessay and Rufforth were transferred from the Borough of Harrogate to become part of the newly formed York unitary authority area. According to the 2001 census, these parishes had a population of 5,169.


In July 2021 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that in April 2023, the non-metropolitan county would be reorganised into a unitary authority. Harrogate Borough Council was abolished on 31 March 2023 and its functions were transferred on 1 April 2023 to a new single authority for the non-metropolitan county of North Yorkshire.[3][4]


Elections to the borough council were held in three out of every four years, with one third of the 54 seats on the council being elected at each election. After being under no overall control from the 2006 election, the Conservative party gained a majority at the 2010 election.

Following the 2016 United Kingdom local elections and subsequent by-elections,[5] the political composition of Harrogate was as follows:

Year Conservative Liberal Democrat Independent
2016 37 10 7
Harrogate District Council 2017

This was the last composition of the former 54 seat council, prior to boundary changes.

The composition of the new 40 seat council after boundary changes was as follows:

Year Conservative Liberal Democrat Independent
2018 31 7 2

Parliamentary constituencies[edit]

The district was divided between three parliamentary constituencies: the whole of Harrogate and Knaresborough, the eastern part of Skipton and Ripon and the north western part of Selby and Ainsty.


By population:
1. Harrogate
2. Ripon (city)
3. Knaresborough
4. Boroughbridge
5. Pateley Bridge
6. Masham

Historical sites[edit]

Freedom of the Borough[edit]

The following people and military units received the Freedom of the Borough of Harrogate.


Military units[edit]


Media related to Borough of Harrogate at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ "Resident Population Estimates by Ethnic Group (Percentages); Mid-2005 Population Estimates". National Statistics Online. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Harrogate Local Authority (1946157115)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Next steps for new unitary councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset". GOV.UK. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  4. ^ "The new council". North Yorkshire County Council. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Harrogate Borough Council Committee Information : Welcome". Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Mr David Simpson, Death of first Freeman of Harrogate". Yorkshire Evening Post. British Newspaper Archive. 15 January 1931. p. 7 col.2. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  7. ^ British Pathe (27 July 2021). "Freedom To Viceroy Elect (1926)" – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "Bettys ex-chief Jonathan Wild granted freedom of Harrogate". BBC News. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  9. ^ Webster, Jacob (10 September 2021). "Former Harrogate Advertiser editor to be given freedom of borough for 'service to community and journalism'". The Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 12 September 2021.

53°59′25″N 1°32′28″W / 53.99028°N 1.54111°W / 53.99028; -1.54111