Between April and September the Harrogate International
Centre (HIC) pumped
£92m into the spa town.
The conference centre hosted 38 major events over the
period, as well as a large number of smaller meetings. In July the HIC raked in
£32m in just one month.
Local business leaders claim Harrogate’s economy is proving one of the best in the
country at weathering the recession.
The latest figures come from the council and local
chamber of commerce.
“Every sector will be impacted from the recession,” said Harrogate Knaresborough Conservative
MP Andrew Jones, “and the tourism and conference industries are no
different. I am
convinced Harrogate will continue to be a
prosperous place, as the money generated from the conference centre shows”.
In some economic surveys Harrogate is the highest-placed town outside of the south
east in terms of its economic resilience.
Chief Executive of the Harrogate
Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Brian Dunsby, said: “It is a welcome boost to
know we are coping so well and I am very confident about the future – the
conference centre, clearly, is pivotal to that.”
Dunsby said there has been a
decline in the conference industry nationwide by as much as 10 per cent, “but
people are not going to stop coming to Harrogate”.
Head of HIC Sales and Marketing, Alison Griffin, said
the venue is one of
Harrogate’s biggest economic drivers,
“impacting on everything from tourism and event providers to local shops and
infrastructure. We are closely supported through all our work by the efforts of
the town and residents, who ensure we remain a fashionable and friendly place to