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Stackyard News Oct 07

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Great Yorkshire Regional Agricultural Centre Gets Go-Ahead

Plans to develop a new Regional Agricultural Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate have been given the go-ahead. The application by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society for the £4.5m centre has been unanimously approved by Harrogate Borough Council and work is expected to begin in mid 2008.

An artist’s impression of the new Centre

YAS centre

Nigel Pulling, the Society’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted at the news which means we can now progress this important project. This is an extremely exciting time for us as the new building will provide a much needed focus for agriculture in the region and be a flagship for the industry.”

The 1,716m² Centre will be situated on the south side of the 250 acre showground and will consist of a farm shop with an 80-seater café and office space.

The Society is a charity and is best known as the organiser of the Great Yorkshire Show and this month’s Countryside Live. It is anticipated that the build will take about 12 months to be completed in phases, but, because of the position of the site, neither of the shows, nor the many events which take place on the showground year round will be affected.

“We will now work on finalising the details of the building with our architects and then move on to a tendering process,” added Mr Pulling.

The Society’s office staff will re-locate to the new building along with other not-for-profit rural organisations. The shop will promote locally sourced food as a priority, providing an extra outlet for local farmers and producers as well as additional choice of good quality local fare for shoppers.

The café design will enable cookery demonstrations and food launches to be staged, further highlighting the important role played in food production by farmers – a key objective of the Society.

A permissive cycle path and a foot path will be created, and the Society has agreed that Harrogate Borough Council can develop a park and ride scheme on one of the showground fields.

Sustainable principles have been incorporated in the plan to ensure the building has the minimum impact on the environment, and it has been designed to be heat efficient. Wherever possible re-cycled materials and natural products will be used. The farm shop and café will have a “green” sedum roof and a biomass boiler will be used for any additional heating.

The design has been created by P+HS Architects which has offices in Leeds and Stokesley. Managing Director, Chris Potter said, “We're delighted to be moving forward with this project. The scheme, won in an invited competition, has great regional and sustainable importance and we are looking forward to bringing innovative solutions to the development not seen before in the area.”

link Great Yorkshire Cookery Competition 2007
link Countryside Live Cancels Cattle and Sheep Due to Foot and Mouth
link Countryside Live 2007 - A Feast of Fun

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