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REVEALED: Great Yorkshire Showground hotel plans

An aerial view of the proposed development. Image: Christie + Co. (S)

An aerial view of the proposed development. Image: Christie + Co. (S)

Great Yorkshire Show bosses have revealed plans to build a 100-room hotel on site.

Showground owners the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) have invited bids to build a three-star hotel on Wetherby Road, adjacent to Pavilions of Harrogate.

Planning is at an early stage, but YAS chief executive Nigel Pulling last night told the Advertiser series he hoped building of the hotel - to serve events year round - could start in 12 months’ time.

He said: “We can provide a lot of visitors to the hotel for events on the showground.

“It isn’t just for visitors, the exhibitors need to stay somewhere.

“We are looking at a hotel of 80-100 bedrooms, and see it as a three-star, mid range hotel.

“But it is going to be a minimum of 12 months before any building takes place.”

YAS is convinced an on-site hotel would be sustainable, among the existing hotel space across the district.

Mr Pulling said: “Harrogate has a strong visitor economy, and we feel we can add to that.

“Events take place at Pavilions and the showground the year round, this wouldn’t just be for the show.”

Mr Pulling revealed YAS has planned to build a hotel on the showground for some time.

He explained: “We first suggested it some years ago, but the financial crash made it difficult to fund hotels.

“We have for some time believed there are many advantages to having quality hotel accommodation on site to complement existing facilities and extend the on-site offer for both visitors and exhibitors and the research supports this.”

Hotel developers Frontier Estates have appointed Christie + Co to find an operator for the build.

Christie + Co director Jon Patrick said: “The budget and limited service hotel segments continue to perform strongly and we saw average values for UK hotels increase by 5.7 per cent in 2013.”

YAS reports that the showground welcomes over 422,000 visitors as well as 41,000 exhibiting personnel each year, with over 200,000 bed nights generated from on-site events and functions, producing some £47m for the local economy.

In July, a 71-space caravan and camp site will be set up at the showground to accommodate visitors in town for the Tour de France.

The 2014 Great Yorkshire Show begins on July 8, less than 48 hours after le Tour - the world’s largest annual sporting event - leaves Harrogate.

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