HIC (Harrogate International Centre) will say farewell to director Stuart Quin in October after fourteen years with the venue, and as director for the last five years.
Stuart has been instrumental in driving the venue forward, consolidating its position as one of the largest venues in the country, by ensuring development, flexibility and levels of customer care across all functions of the business including events, operations, marketing and sales.
During his tenure, Stuart has led the expansion of the venue’s capacity through an additional events hall, (hall M), and the flexible breakout facility of the Queen’s Suite; the latter considered to be an industry leader in terms of its approach and design.
Another major project headed up by Stuart is the impressive £10.8m restoration project of the unique Grade lI* listed building, the Royal Hall, which was completed in 2008. The restoration, controversial in some quarters, has received many plaudits, winning a number of industry awards for its quality and design.
More recently, Stuart has also successfully led HIC through the feasibility and planning stages, and secured funding via Yorkshire Forward, for the first phase of a venue development plan. This consists of two new environmentally friendly event halls which will add a further 3,300 sq m to the venue, together with a new foyer and entrance area and associated public realm improvements. Construction begins on this development later this month (July 2010), with completion expected in the autumn 2011.
Stuart says of his impending departure, “My time with HIC has been absorbing and productive and I am proud to be associated with a venue which has maintained, despite increasing competition, a loyal client base and which through genuine customer care and continual adaptations to facilities can continue to offer flexible event space for the myriad of events held here every year.”
“The past couple of years have been challenging as the business has like most others been subjected to the impact of recession, but the commitment to investment, the resilience of staff and the strong support of the local business community should see HIC come out of recession in good shape I have been privileged to have had a small influence on the development of one of Harrogate’s key economic drivers and I am eternally grateful to all those who have so generously and consistently supported the business. I will remain a strong advocate of HIC as it continues to play a positive and important role in the UK events industry.”
It is intended that recruitment for a worthy successor to Stuart will commence over the summer and autumn period.