Harrogate International Centre Breaks new Ground on £13m event facilities.

Yesterday – Tuesday 3rd August 2010 saws the ‘Ground Breaking’ ceremony of the new event spaces at Harrogate International Centre by Mayor of Harrogate, Councillor Bill Hoult.

The event marks the official start of building work.  Attendees included a host of local dignitaries, stakeholders, clients, the regional development agency and Harrogate residents.

The combination of the credibility and experience that comes with more than 20 years in the industry and HIC’s continuing development has cemented HIC’s place at the forefront of the events industry  – this development will ensure that reputation continues to grow.  Ultimately the new event space is a direct result of continued client and stakeholder consultation as well as the need to compete in a challenging market place.

The development has been supported by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, which has part funded the £13 million expansion plan along with Harrogate Borough Council.  Attending the event, Linda Pollard, Deputy Chair of Yorkshire Forward said: “We have invested in these improvements to Harrogate International Centre so that its facilities can continue to compete with other conference centres both nationally and internationally and bring conferences and events to the region. It will help safeguard the substantial business tourism economy which has long been a staple feature of the Harrogate district and raise the profile of Yorkshire and Humber as the place to do business.”

Stuart Quin, HIC Director: “I am delighted to be a part of this exciting regeneration programme and the benefits of this new scheme will be far reaching for all concerned.  This growth will increase capacity and allow for bigger events to expand, whilst improving the flexibility of the existing facilities.  We will now be able to offer not just additional exhibition space but spaces capable of hosting larger experiential events, banquets, corporate productions and product launches than ever before.  This will in turn enable us to attract and host an even wider range of national and international events benefiting the whole town.”

The development includes two new event halls totalling 3,300 square metres.  Providing an extra 20% capacity, and with its improved flexibility, it will allow multiple events to run alongside each other.

New enhanced features of HIC include: •    Total Exhibition Space of 3,300m •    Maximum banqueting capacity of 1500 guests •    Hall heights of 6m •    Underground car park •    Enlarged and prominent spectacular new entrance •    The goal of achieving a BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ”excellent rating” through the inclusion of such things as a green roof; use of sustainable fuels to propel heating and electric requirements; rainwater harvesting and other similar measure to minimise any environmental impacts.

This development, which is being constructed by the Wates Group, will enhance Harrogate’s international reputation as a leading destination for events, whilst visually complimenting the town’s reputation for beauty.  The exterior of the existing site (The Kings Road Side) will also be enhanced by a tree-lined boulevard entrance and a vibrant outdoor covered ‘piazza style’ dining area.

This development is scheduled to complete by Autumn 2011.

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