First events at Harrogate Convention Centre to be government pilot


Jun 24, 2021
Harrogate Convention Centre, which is earmarked for a £47 million redevelopment.

The first events in over a year at Harrogate Convention Centre will have no social distancing after being selected for a government pilot.

Organisers of The Home and Gift Buyers’ Festival and the Manchester Furniture Show 2021 confirmed the news after discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Restrictions on the number of visitors will be lifted and social distancing requirements scrapped at the events, which are being held from July 18 to July 21.

However, visitors will be required to show proof of two vaccinations at least two weeks prior to attending or a negative NHS lateral flow test at least 48 hours before the event.

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The event comes as part of a limited number of pilots being held in the third phase of the government’s Events Research Programme, which examines the risk of covid transmission at events

Russell Rule, director of The Home and Gift Buyers’ Festival , said:

“With the backing of the government, public health bodies, and our key customers we can see that the appetite and enthusiasm are there for an in-person buying and selling event. 

“There is great excitement from both exhibitors and visitors to reconnect in Harrogate to celebrate our 60th anniversary.”

The convention centre is still waiting to get back to normality following the delay in lifting the final covid restrictions.

The pilot will be used to gather data and research how small and large scale events could be permitted in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Nigel Huddleston, tourism minister, said the business and events industry was worth around £40 billion annually to the UK economy and he was delighted the events would be held at full capacity. He added:

“This will continue to trial the use of the NHS app as a means to show you’re covid safe.”

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