The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle is set to become the UK’s first ‘Rainbow Town’ once lockdown is lifted and businesses are permitted to open.

The initiative, due to go live as soon as government restrictions are lifted, will see local businesses re-opening with special discounts and offers for frontline NHS staff and care workers, as an ongoing practical ‘thankyou’ to them as the town re-opens to visitors.

Already 25 businesses in Settle have signed up to the scheme with more joining every day. Offers will be available from traders displaying the Settle Rainbow Town logo on their website or premises.

Frontline NHS staff and care workers will be able to enjoy benefits such as free entry to The Folly Museum, money off at Cottontail Crafts and a 10% reduction on a stay at Woodlands House. A full list of participating businesses and offer details are displayed on the town’s website at  https://www.visitsettle.co.uk/settle-rainbow-town.html.

David Sexton of Woodlands House first suggested the Rainbow Town concept, which is being co-ordinated through Vibrant Settle, a community partnership in the North Craven market town which spearheads several initiatives to support the local economy including the popular annual Settle Flowerpot Festival which fell victim to COVID19 this year.

David Sexton explained: “While countless businesses throughout the country are offering special deals and discounts for NHS and other key workers, we thought it would be great if Settle businesses not only joined in, but also progressed the idea further and co-ordinated our efforts to form the first Rainbow Town. Individual shops, accommodation and hospitality providers along with many others have come together to give frontline health and care workers a meaningful thank-you which will be a positive legacy of COVID19 going forward.”

Steve Amphlett, of Visit Settle, said: “This is a great way to show appreciation for these critical workers when businesses are permitted to reopen. For now though, most of the town remains closed and visitors are requested to respect our residents by following the government rules on travel and social distancing.”