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New halls at Harrogate to bring additional benefits to the local economy

The new halls are well on schedule and we are looking forward to seeing the results…. The development of the two new additional multi-purpose event spaces will add 3,300 square metres of exhibition space to the venue, along with increased hall heights of 6 metres. An expanded and improved main entrance will also be developed and an open air piazza is planned.

As the largest events venue in the north of the country, HIC generates vital income for Harrogate and the region.  Last year, it achieved a remarkable £180 million for the local economy during the 2010/11 financial year. This is a great achievement for us in the face of tough economic times, and it truly demonstrates the positive effect we have on Harrogate as a town and the local region.  Given our business scale and size we would expect to have a substantial impact but this clearly demonstrates the value of events.  There are so many opportunities here for local business: from shops and taxi companies to restaurants and bars; to gain from the hundreds of thousands of visitors we bring to the town every year.

These events also generate over 300,000 bed nights for local hotels and it is estimated that some 3-4,000 local jobs are reliant or substantially dependent on business tourism. The £13 million cost of new halls development is jointly funded by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and Harrogate Borough Council.

The construction of the new halls is in accordance with the strict green principle that is consistent with HIC‘s broader agenda to reduce overall impact. HIC clients are increasingly looking to reduce the environmental impact of their events and require firm evidence of a venue’s responsible approach to sustainability.

This new development is expected to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating under BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) – the leading measure of a building’s environmental performance.

What else… the project is already drawing new business. Recently, the Stroke Association has chosen Harrogate International Centre as the venue for their annual conference for the next three years (2012-14).  This event alone is likely to bring around £6.6 million worth of business to the centre and the area.

Growing show returns to Harrogate after 13 year absence.

The Hospital Caterers Association returned to Harrogate in March, 2011 for their annual conference after a 13 year absence.

With the organisation of the event rotating through the 17 regional branches, the event has historically moved locations to the host region.  2011 saw the HCA returning to Harrogate on 8th and 9th March, but this time utilising the Harrogate International Centre, due to the event’s growth.

Andrea Dalton from HCA said: “As the HCA’s event has grown we have continued to seek new venues to meet the needs of our event.  The Harrogate International Centre was an ideal choice and this year’s event proved to be a great success.  Delegates came from all over the UK to the event, with numbers increasing once again.  The exhibition hall in particular looked fantastic and its location next to the Royal Hall was ideal.”

Harrogate International Centre’s Alison Griffin said: “The continued growth and development of the centre during our long history has allowed us to take on more and more ambitious events over time.  With conference spaces capable of seating 2,000 people and exhibition space in excess of 16,500 sqm, we are once again moving forward in 2011, with the addition of our two new event halls.  Such developments ensure we appeal to an ever widening range of potential clients and organisers.” The Lean and Green theme of the 2011 HCA event is particularly appropriate to HIC, which is expected to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating under BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) – the leading measure of a building’s environmental performance.

Founded in 1948, the HCA is a national organisation with branches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The aims and objectives of the Association focus on the promotion and improvement of the standards of catering in hospitals and healthcare establishments in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and elsewhere; the education and training of persons in healthcare catering services, and the provision and improvement of the professional interests and status of those engaged in healthcare catering services.

The delegates were made up from healthcare catering managers, hotel services and facilities professionals and suppliers, nutritionists and dieticians, representatives from the Department of Health, NPSA, LACA, NACC and other interested parties, who are all decision makers, working at a high level within their organisations.

About HIC
Harrogate International Centre (HIC) is located in the stylish spa town of Harrogate. It comprises of: 8 halls offering 19,500 sq metres of exhibition space; a modern 2,000 seat auditorium; the glittering Royal Hall with an audience capacity of 1,000; and the art deco styled Sun Pavilion suitable for up to 200 guests.
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