Great Yorkshire Show
The new centre at the showground.
By Tim Dale
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is going even further this year to celebrate the vital role food and farming play in the region's economy. The Regional Agricultural Centre is being unveiled this June ahead of next month's Great Yorkshire Show.
The centre, which has cost over five million pounds, is situated on the edge of the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. It will provide a base for a number of initiatives designed to inject new life into Yorkshire's rural economy.
Fodder is at the heart of the new centre.
Simon Theakston, Chairman of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), explained the thinking behind the new centre; "Farming and the food industry are two of the bright spots of the economy; together they form one of the few sectors to show positive growth last year.
"Combined they turn over £8.6 billion, involving 1,300 businesses and employing over 90,000 people. The role of the Regional Agricultural Centre is to support and assist farmers to flourish."
Amongst the numerous initiatives based at the centre will be 'Fodder', a new regional food shop and cafe. Fodder aims to offer people the best food and drink that Yorkshire has to offer. It will support a wide range of local producers offering them a new market for their goods.
As well as offices for Yorkshire Agricultural Society staff, the building will provide a home for other rural not-for-profit organisations.
Fodder provides an outlet for many local producers
The Queen unveiled a plaque to mark the start of construction during her visit to 150th Great Yorkshire Show in 2008. The building incorporates a number of sustainable features including including a ground heat recovery system, timber frame, solar thermal panels, sheep's wool insulation and rainwater harvesting.
It has been constructed by Harrogate based company Houseman and Falshaw. The company's Managing Director, Stuart Falshaw said they'd been delighted to be involved; "This has been an innovative project and a tremendously exciting development and is testament to all who have been involved in the Yorkshire Agricultural Society's vision of the future."
last updated: 17/06/2009 at 15:40
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