Council leader ‘shares disappointment’ over lack of HCC funding in devolution deal


Aug 2, 2022
Cllr Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council.

The leader of North Yorkshire County Council has said he shares disappointment that funding for Harrogate Convention Centre has not being included in a £540 million devolution deal.

Cllr Carl Les said a bid for funding to support a £47 million HCC redevelopment was included in a request to government, but was turned down.

His comments come as Cllr Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, told the Harrogate Advertiser that while he supported the deal, he felt it “fell short” due to a lack of funding for the facility.

The borough council has since had to draw up a bid to the government’s levelling up fund in an effort to support the project.

Cllr Les told the Stray Ferret that the county council would continue to work with the borough council to secure funding for the facility.

He said:

“We did put a request for the Harrogate Convention Centre in the asks which were submitted to government.

“Harrogate sent officers to present the case, but the message from civil servants was that it should not be included.

“I share Richard’s disappointment, but we were given a clear steer and we are supporting Harrogate in that.”

Cllr Les added that the county council “recognised the importance” of the convention centre.

Historic deal

A historic £540 million devolution deal for North Yorkshire and York was announced by government yesterday.

The deal includes £18 million of guaranteed government cash for 30 years and it will also mean the county gets an elected mayor and combined authority.

Read More:

The agreement has been described as “a one-in-a-generation chance to help tackle regional inequalities by not only reducing the North-South divide nationally, but also helping to resolve economic differences that are being felt between urban and rural areas”.

Speaking after signing the deal in York yesterday, chief secretary to the treasury, Simon Clarke said:

“Local leaders are best placed to know what their communities need so I’m delighted that the people of York and North Yorkshire will be able to directly elect a mayor to deliver on their priorities.

“Devolution will benefit people across the region and we are committed to boosting more local areas in the same way as we level up the whole country.”

Download the FREE Stray Ferret app here to access the latest news, competitions and offers.

Follow us on

The Stray Ferret Feed

The findings spell more bad news for the centre, which is already over budget and more than a year overdue.

Load More