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Our Story

We've been evolving for almost two hundred years.

Our Story

Welcome to the home of events

Harrogate Convention Centre featuring modern event spaces, iconic auditoria and new technology has been evolving for almost two hundred years.

In 1835 The Spa Rooms stood on the site of today’s Hall M welcoming the British Medical Association in 1884. Royal Hall opened in 1903 as a venue for social events and meetings hosting The First British Advertising Convention as long ago as 1925. In the thirties Harrogate really started to gain its reputation as the place to hold business events and by 1937 the town was hosting thirty events a year.

Post-war boom

In the mid 1940’s Harrogate’s event industry continued to grow and by 1953 almost 150 conferences were held each year.

In 1959 we added our first purpose-built event halls and by 1961 we were hosting 170 conferences annually, welcoming 44,000 people to the region.

More halls were added in 1966 and 1971 and shortly after an independent business tourism study recommended building a major conference centre in the town.

The report became the first step in creating our 2000-seat main auditorium which opened in 1982, hosting The Eurovision Song Contest that same year.

Throughout the eighties and nineties Harrogate’s convention centre continued to grow and establish more exhibitions; however it became clear our oldest and best-loved asset was in need of attention.

Saving the past, building the future

At 100–years-old Royal Hall was beginning to show its age and in urgent need of repair. A thorough structural survey revealed the extent to which the building’s fabric had suffered over the years and the future of the theatre was in serious doubt. Determined the theatre must be saved for the people of Harrogate, a multi-million pound fundraising campaign was launched by a newly-formed Royal Hall Restoration Trust.

The hard work of the trust attracted funding from the National Lottery, Harrogate Borough Council and a number of wealthy backers. The campaign raised more than £10million and saw the theatre returned to its Edwardian splendour in an opening ceremony conducted by HRH the Prince of Wales in January 2008.

Constantly Evolving

With Royal Hall providing a second venue for large conferences, banquets and live entertainment, we again turned to expanding exhibition space and work began on building Studio One and Studio Two.

These large, modern, eco-friendly halls opened in 2011, and brought a substantial increase to the overall floor space available for major events.

Our latest asset came in 2014 when we opened an on-site 107-bedroom Premier Inn which along with the existing Holiday Inn (now Crowne Plaza) brought the number of bedrooms with direct access to the Convention Centre to 320.

Today, as one of the country’s leading multi-use venues we help a portfolio of professional associations, business corporations, not-for-profit organisations and event agents deliver exciting trade and consumer exhibitions, inspiring conferences, sumptuous banquets and spectacular entertainment. In 2016 these events attracted 300,000 visitors to Harrogate, contributing millions of pounds to the local economy.

Some exhibition clients have made Harrogate their home for decades including “Christmas and Gift”, returning to the town annually for almost 70 years.

Welcome home.

Bringing you the very best… What's on

Home & Gift Buyers' Festival

18th - 21st July

The industry’s favourite show just got better!

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Harrogate Fashion Week

1st - 2nd August

Harrogate Fashion Week is making a welcome return to the beautiful spa town.

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The 27th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival

8th - 18th August

The festival returns to Harrogate bringing with it all the colour, humour and spectacle of Britain’s greatest comedy opera writers.

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BANFF Mountain Film Festival

4th September

Embark on a thrilling night of adventure with a brand-new collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival!

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Michael Bolton

25th September

Here's a rare chance to see the multiple Grammy Award-winning Singer, Songwriter and Social Activist, right here on stage in Harrogate!

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Jon Richardson : The Knitwit

30th September

Will the recycling be put out on the right day? Who is going to smooth over the top of the margarine? How many lights are on upstairs?

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Paloma Faith Infinite Things

3rd October

This is a new Paloma Faith, who has retreated within herself during lockdown and found the old 22-year-old art student led by creativity.

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Katherine Ryan - Missus

14th October

The new show, Missus, discusses how, having previously denounced partnership, the comedian has since married her first love… accidentally.

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​Bespoked - The UK Handmade Bicycle Show

15th - 17th October

​Bespoked - The UK Handmade Bicycle Show - A Celebration of Handmade Bicycles & Those Who Make Them

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Thought Bubble Comic Con

13th - 14th November

​The biggest and best comic art convention in the UK returns to Harrogate this autumn bringing a host of famous artists from around the world.​

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​The Knitting & Stitching Show

18th - 21st November

​The Knitting & Stitching Show is the definitive event for anyone with a love of textile-based craft.

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Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

25th - 28th November

Christmas is a time for celebration and what better way to start the festive season than with a trip to the Harrogate Country Living Christmas Fair.

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Grayson Perry: A Show for Normal People

27th November

Let Grayson take you through an enlightening and eye-watering evening in which this kind of existentialism descends from worthiness to silliness.

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All events

Exhibition Halls

-July

Exhibition Halls

-August

Royal Hall

-August

Royal Hall

September

Main Auditorium

September

Royal Hall

September

Main Auditorium

October

Royal Hall

October

Exhibition Halls

-October

Harrogate Convention Centre

-November

Exhibition Halls

-November

Exhibition Halls

-November

Main Auditorium

November

A space for every event

Fully scalable venue

Take one hall or take them all, our solutions are geared towards maximising the success of your event, no matter what your aims.

Venue details

Over 147,000 sq ft

Can we help?

Fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.
Alternatively call us on 01423 537474.

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