The Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) has begun work on a £10m state-of-the-art venue in Harrogate, the new venue which will give event organisers across the UK an exciting new venue.
YAS began demolition of exhibition Hall 1 to make way for the new building at the Great Yorkshire Showground. Completion is scheduled for late spring 2016, with bookings already being taken.
The new hall will offer a clear, versatile space of 4,320m2 to suit a wide range of events from blue chip company conferences to large dinners and exhibitions or sporting events. It will also have a café, large foyer, offices and dedicated workshop/seminar space; all set in a stunning location on the edge of the spa town. The building adjoins an existing hall, giving a total area of 6,270m2.
The showground is well known as the venue for the UK’s premier annual rural showcase, the Great Yorkshire Show, which attracts around 132,000 visitors over three days in July. In the other months, it is also used for a wide variety of events from weddings and conferences through to the Harrogate Spring and Autumn Flower Shows.
Heather Parry, deputy chief executive of YAS, said: “We are delighted to be starting work on such an exciting project, the largest in our organisation’s history. There’s so much potential in this development for us, our region and beyond. The economic impact that events on the Showground generate per annum is currently £47m and this new project will see this figure increase significantly. To ensure existing business continues we have hired a DeBoer Structure to create a temporary exhibition venue – so it will be business as usual while the build goes on.”
The showground spans 250 acres, which includes 14 function rooms at Pavilions of Harrogate, the Harrogate Caravan Park, and Fodder – the society’s award winning regional food shop and café. These facilities are run by the YAS’s commercial arm, the Yorkshire Event Centre, with all profits going to fund the charitable work of the society.
Miss Parry commented: “We have a beautiful location, which lends itself perfectly to a range of events and the new Hall will become the jewel in our crown. This highly specified building, set in attractive grounds on the outskirts of Harrogate, with extensive free parking is going to put us firmly on the events map.”
The contract for the new building was won by Yorkshire based Clugston Construction Ltd, which has over 50 years of award-winning, building experience throughout the region.
Miss Parry added: “The new Hall will enrich event space provision in the UK so it was of great importance for us to select a contractor who shares our commitment to excellence and our partnership working approach. Clugston have a long and successful track record and a great team. We’re looking forward to working with them.”
Nick Todd, regional business unit manager at Clugston Construction, commented: “Being selected to deliver this exciting project on such an iconic site is a great thrill. We look forward to continuing the relationship we have established with Heather Parry and her team during the design and development stage and working with our supply chain to build the new events hall for next summer.”
The architects are P+HS Architects, also based in Yorkshire. P+HS Architects have worked with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society previously, having designed their highly successful new offices and Fodder. This sustainable development provided new head office accommodation as well as meeting facilities, incubator offices and Fodder.
Adrian Taylor, technical director at P+HS Architects, commented: “We are delighted to be working with YAS and YEC again; Heather Parry and her team are positive and passionate in their determination to deliver the very best facilities in the region. If our previous work with them is any indication, we know that the new exhibition hall will be a resounding success. We’re also looking forward to developing our relationship with Clugston Construction Ltd, which has such a strong reputation for high quality work.”