Harrogate Convention Centre hosted its first event since being converted to a nightingale hospital, The Home and Gift Buyers’ Festival and the Manchester Furniture Show took place on 18-21 July.
The event attracted 10,000 visitors to Harrogate, with an estimated economic impact of £750,000. All attendees were required to certify either two vaccinations at least two weeks prior to attending or a negative NHS Lateral Flow Test at least 48 hours before attending.
In a letter of support to Harrogate Convention Centre, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “The Harrogate Convention Centre is a great asset to the local economy, and I am so glad to hear that it is now back and ready to take part in the Events Research Programme pilot. The past year has been an immense challenge for the whole country and now, with the aid of events like this, we will all be one step closer to normality.”
Gemma Rio, head of destination management, Harrogate, said: “It was fantastic to see the buzz at Harrogate Convention Centre and across the town over the past few days. COVID-19 has influenced the tourism landscape dramatically over the last 18 months. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have taken their toll on many towns and cities and devastated the hospitality industry.”
Russell Rule, show director, Home and Gift Buyers’ Festival, said: “We worked hard to ensure health and safety were paramount. Within that context, it was very welcomed to see the appetite and enthusiasm for an in-person buying and selling event.
“Harrogate is a fantastic spa town with its choice of hotels, bars and restaurants. This was the first year we brought our sister show, the Manchester Furniture Show, with over 5,000 specialist furniture and interiors buyers at the event. It’s a thrill to be back.”