Harrogate Convention Centre

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Harrogate Convention Centre
Harrogate International Centre - geograph.org.uk - 738910.jpg
Former namesHarrogate International Centre
LocationHarrogate, North Yorkshire
Coordinates53°59′48.48″N 1°32′29″W / 53.9968000°N 1.54139°W / 53.9968000; -1.54139Coordinates: 53°59′48.48″N 1°32′29″W / 53.9968000°N 1.54139°W / 53.9968000; -1.54139
OwnerHarrogate Borough Council
Capacity2,000 (Auditorium)
1,600 (Exhibition Halls)
600 (Queens Suite)
1,000 (Royal Hall)
Official website

Harrogate Convention Centre is a convention and exhibition centre in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.


Previously named Harrogate International Centre it was renamed Harrogate Convention Centre in April 2017.[1] The centre has been described as being a "magnet for business conferences" and generates around £60 million per year into the local economy.[2][3]

While Harrogate had been hosting conferences and exhibitions since the end of the Second World War, the 2,000-seat main auditorium opened in 1982[4] and was the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 1982.[5] The venue has since expanded to include eight exhibition halls offering 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) of space as well as ancillary facilities including a hotel.[6] Further expansion took place between 2009 and 2014.[7]

The Royal Hall holds 1,000 people, whereas the Queen's Suite holds up to 600. The Royal Hall is grade II* listed building which is a former concert hall designed by Frank Matcham and Robert Beale.[8]

The between April 2013 and December 2018, the director of the conference centre was Simon Kent. Since January 2019, the director is Paula Lorimer.[9]

In April 2020, the centre was converted into an NHS Nightingale Hospital in response to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The centre was furnished with 500 beds.[10]

Notable events[edit]

The Liberal Democrats have held the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference at the centre on six occasions since the party's formation in 1988.[11]


  1. ^ Braithwaite, Ruby (7 January 2019). "New plans unveiled to spruce up Harrogate Convention Centre with night lights and plaza". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  2. ^ Blackwood, Lorna (24 August 2007). "Focus on ...Harrogate". The Times. ProQuest 319771889.
  3. ^ Murphy, Lizzie (18 January 2018). "Council appoints adviser to create masterplan for Harrogate Convention Centre". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ Fulcher, Merlin (17 October 2017). "Competition: Harrogate Convention Centre". architectsjournal.co.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  5. ^ "BBC One - Eurovision Song Contest, 1982, Grand Final: 1982". BBC. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  6. ^ Thompson, Vicky (17 January 2018). "Grand plans in the pipeline for major venue". York Press. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Sandown and Harrogate shows expanded". Exhibition News. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Royal Hall (Grade II*) (1315842)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  9. ^ Leeming, Lachlan (11 January 2019). "New director of Harrogate Convention Centre announced". Harrogate Advertiser. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Two more Nightingale hospitals announced". BBC News. 3 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  11. ^ Roger Mortimore and Andrew Blick, Butler's British Political Facts, Palgrave Macmillan 2018, p. 274 & 275.

External links[edit]

Media related to Harrogate Convention Centre at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion
Eurovision Song Contest

Succeeded by