The president of Otley Chamber of Trade has hailed 2014 as an important year for the town.

Paul Sykes, in his message in the new edition of the chamber’s Economic Bulletin, also cast his eye back over a successful previous 12 months.

He said: “On behalf of the chamber and all of Otley’s businesses, I would like to thank Otley Town Partnership and Steph Lee for organising another successful Victorian Fayre, and Tim and Helen Wilkinson for Otley’s Christmas Tree Festival.

“Both events brought some festive cheer and lots of visitors to Otley during the short dark December days.

“The Otley Loyalty scheme is now a year old and there has been a steady increase in the number of card holders throughout the year. There is great potential for the scheme to kick on and grow during 2014, and I would urge all chamber members to give serious thought to how they can make best use of the scheme to promote their business to the local community.”

Looking ahead, he added: “2014 will bring some significant events to Otley. Otley Business Improvement District (Bid) will begin to operate officially from April, and over its five-year plan promises to be a catalyst for changes and development for the benefit of our town as a whole, and the business community in particular.

“The once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Tour de France in July should swell the number of summer visitors and be the centrepiece to a memorable weekend.”

He added that this year’s Good Service Award scheme – the winner will be announced later this month – has attracted a “huge number of nominations”, and that the chamber always welcomed offers of help from anyone wishing to get involved.