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Stackyard News Jan 05

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Yorkshire Agricultural SocietyNew Plans for Great Yorkshire Showground

Exciting new plans estimated at costing £10 million are aimed at putting the Great Yorkshire Showground at the heart of agriculture in the North of England and boosting the region's economy have been unveiled by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

The society is best known as the organiser of the annual Great Yorkshire Show, and through its trading arm, the Yorkshire Event Centre, provides the venue for numerous events year round, including the Yorkshire International Business Convention.

Nigel Pulling, chief executive said: “Our vision is for the Great Yorkshire Showground to be the centre for agriculture in the North of England. Over the last decade we have spent more than £12m on upgrading the site but that programme has been completed. These plans are a natural next step and will enable us to promote agriculture more effectively, and improve the facilities available year round. We believe this is good news for agriculture and good news for the local economy as well as providing much needed additional exhibition space and accommodation.”

Although still at the discussion stage, the plans which are part of the society's vision to be implemented over the next five years include:

  • creating a Regional Agricultural Centre, incorporating the Society offices, plus a farm shop and café 
  • replacing an accommodation block with a hotel containing approximately 100 bedrooms
  • rebuilding Exhibition Hall 1 with a larger new building, taking it from 3,500sq m to 6,500 sq m
  • constructing a roundabout on Wetherby Road and a new road into the Showground
  • re-locating the existing touring Caravan Park within the site

At present consultations are taking place with Harrogate Borough Council and other interested parties including the Society's neighbours, before applying for outline planning permission. If approved, detailed plans will be created with a view to work beginning before the end of the year.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society was established in 1837 with the aim of encouraging and promoting agriculture in the region. The Great Yorkshire Show attracts over 120,000 visitors over the three days each year and is regarded as the premier annual agricultural event in the north of England.

The Yorkshire Event Centre, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Society is now firmly established on the national venue scene, and, a recent independent report showed that it contributes between £30m and £37m annually to the local economy. It also supports the equivalent of between 581 and 712 full time jobs, of which most are locally based.  The report by the Yorkshire Tourist Board underlines the fact that the Yorkshire Event Centre plays a key role in the region's economic well being.

Heather Parry, managing director said: “We are committed to providing the best facilities we can to promote the fact that Harrogate is a first class venue whatever the event. Our aim is for prospective customers to see Yorkshire and more specifically Harrogate as the first choice for their event and raise funds for the Society in the process.”

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Yorkshire Agricultural Society
Yorkshire Agricultural Society