CRAVEN'S independent businesses are being given the opportunity to take part in a 'Dragon's Den' inspired event at Harrogate's Rudding Park hotel.

The event on January 23 will give businesses the opportunity to pitch their products to key decision makers at the luxury resort, as the team look to refresh the Rudding Park VIP gifting range.

Candidates will have three minutes to pitch and impress the Rudding Park ‘Dragons’; Matthew Mackaness, managing director; Karen Tyson, resort general manager; Julia Featherstone, head of rooms division; Matthew Wilkinson, head of kitchens, and Nicola Cook, head of marketing; followed by questions.

To support local independent businesses, the team of ‘friendly’ Dragons are looking for a selection of high-quality products with links to travel, lifestyle, food and drink, design or well-being. They must also align with sustainability and/or giving back to the community.

Julia Featherstone said: “We always strive to surprise and delight our guests, many of whom return time and time again. It is important we recognise and reward their loyalty, so we are really excited about this initiative and I am hoping we will discover a range of new, quality products to incorporate into our VIP gifting to really wow our guests”.

Nicola Cook added: “I am conscious it can often be quite challenging, particularly for smaller businesses, to get a foot in the door to showcase their products.

"It occurred to me that a Dragon’s Den inspired event could be great opportunity for us to discover some amazing products to enhance our guest experience and a chance to showcase some talented local suppliers in a fun and innovative initiative.”

The initiative also supports the Rudding Park Giving Back initiative; as the Rudding Park Dragons will each have a pot of Rudding Park gift vouchers ready to ‘invest’ in charities nominated by candidates who particularly impress.

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