New £11.5m Exhibition Hall – Open for Business
The Bishop of Leeds, the Right Rev Nick Baines, and the Yorkshire Event Centre’s MD Heather Parry pulled a 30m giant red ribbon to unveil Hall 1 which is the largest single-span space in Yorkshire and the North East of England and provides 4,320m2 of exhibition space.
The new building, has a 36m glass front elevation, flanked by an 8m high Yorkshire stone wall and an 8m high copper wall. It can also be combined with Hall 2, which offers a further 1,950m2.
More than 200 invited guests assembled in the sunshine to hear Heather outline the YEC’s vision of creating a building to rival any other events space in the UK. “Our new hall demonstrates our commitment to the farming community, to our existing and future customers, and is a positive contribution to the Yorkshire economy,” she said.
The Bishop of Leeds said Hall 1, which is the size of 3.5 Olympic swimming pools, fitted perfectly within its surroundings on the 250-acre showground in Harrogate.
“Not only is it unique, it is also ambitious and it shows something about Yorkshire: that we want to aim high. It is a fabulous building,” he said.
For the opening, the hall was set out to showcase its versatility in staging different events including an exhibition of luxury cars, a dinner for 400, conference seating and even a funfair ride. Guests enjoyed Yorkshire canapes, music from Linus Quartet from Leeds College of Music, played table tennis and enjoyed the dodgems.
All profits from the Yorkshire Event Centre go to fund the work of the registered charity, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The Society is best known as the organiser of England’s premier agricultural event, the Great Yorkshire Show, but is involved year round in supporting the farming and rural industry.
To acknowledge the importance of Yorkshire food producers and to mark the occasion, Mrs Susan York, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s President, and Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd, cut a celebratory five-tier Yorkshire pork pie cake.
Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, described the opening of Hall 1 as a “momentous day in the Society’s history. This new hall captures the essence of the Society – innovative and practical, and we’re thrilled with the result of all the hard work.”
Hall 1 replaces the original 1960s building which had come to the end of its natural life. As well as the main exhibition space, it includes a café, large foyer, seminar/workshop space and offices.
The first event being held in the new Hall 1 is the Society’s Countryside Days next week, when 6,000 school children will use it as their base for learning more about where their food comes from, before hosting Hamerville Publishing’s popular Toolfair and Elex. With the additional space, Hamerville are also launching new show Professional Builder Live in Hall 2, which connects directly to Hall 1.
The project has been masterminded by Heather Parry. Builders were Clugston Construction and architects were P + HS of Stokesley and Leeds.