Harrogate International Centre (HIC) is due to be completed in December, creating two new stars at the premier conference and event venue, which is located halfway between London and Edinburgh. The project to construct Halls H and G has taken 18 months to complete and creates an additional 3,100m2 of exhibition space – a 20% increase in capacity. The additional halls will also provide Harrogate with significant additional space for evening events, complementing the town’s friendly and intimate atmosphere.
The development, carried out by Wates Construction, included work to improve public areas and landscaping along Kings Road, the building of a new registration atrium with direct access to the Queen’s Suite, Hall D, Kings Suite and a new outdoor piazza. A street level entrance directly into Hall Q has also been created along with additional car parking facilities underneath the new halls.
HIC Director Angus Houston comments: “It is a very exciting time for HIC and its clients. The investment in HIC’s facilities through the creation of the two new halls and improving its existing spaces will ensure we remain competitive and can cater for all manner of events. We’ll have the capacity to run multiple events simultaneously and host a wider range of experiential events, banquets, corporate productions and product launches. For organisers choosing HIC, the improved spaces provide them with the best facilities so they can deliver world class exhibitions and events. Ultimately this development will enhance our reputation as a leading destination and place the venue at the forefront of the events industry both nationally and internationally.”
The project to improve HIC’s facilities has been supported by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, which part funded the £13 million development plan along with Harrogate Borough Council.
The new enhanced features of HIC include: • Additional 3,100m2 exhibition space • Maximum banqueting capacity of 1,500 guests • Hall heights of six metres • Underground car park • Enlarged and prominent spectacular new entrance
Angus Houston continues: “The project not only benefits event organisers and visitors to HIC but the whole region. Business tourism is important to our local economy and generates more than £180 million annually through visitor and organiser expenditure. The work will increase HIC’s economic impact and raise the region’s profile as a place to do business.”
During construction, HIC has taken into account the building’s environmental impact. It aims to achieve a BREEAM (British Research Environmental Assessment Method) ‘excellent’ rating through the inclusion of a green roof, use of sustainable fuels, rainwater harvesting and other measures to minimise its environmental impact.