Local Schools invited to ‘capture the Harrogate district’ and get involved in the build of Harrogate Borough Council’s Civic Centre

Our project to build Harrogate Borough Council’s new civic centre is well underway and we are currently eight months into the construction programme. Along with the council, we are very keen to engage with local schools and colleges in the project so that they can be part of what is going to be an important building for the district in the future.

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Harrogate Civic Centre Student Artwork Competition

We are giving GCSE and A Level art and photography students in the Harrogate district the opportunity to make a lasting mark on the finished building by taking part in our ‘Harrogate Civic Centre Student Artwork Competition’.

The Civic Centre contains a suite of meeting rooms (plans included below) consisting of the Council Chamber, plus six further meeting spaces. The six meeting spaces are currently unnamed and have no planned artwork. We would like these spaces to showcase our beautiful district and we are inviting local schools and colleges to come up with some fantastic ideas which will be incorporated into each meeting room. We are looking for students to come up with a fitting name for each room, design an associated piece of artwork or photography, which illustrates our wonderful district and provide a short explanation on the chosen theme.

The winning entries will be showcased in the meeting room suite, and the student(s), along with their tutor and classmates, will be invited to attend the official opening of the building.

‘All about the Harrogate district’ is our theme and we are looking for inspiring images that capture the heart and soul of our beautiful region. Since the new Civic Centre will have an iconic and architecturally interesting design, we will be looking for entries that reflect this. The medium is up to you, whether it’s a painting, sketch or photograph and shouldn’t be any bigger than A2 in size.

Artwork should be submitted to:

Alison Wilson
Council Offices
Crescent Gardens

If you would like to participate in the competition, please register your school with Alison.wilson@harrogate.gov.uk

The deadline for entries is 28th February 2017. Entries will be judged by a panel of representatives from Harrogate Borough Council, the Mercer Art Gallery and the Harry Fairclough project team. Winning entries will be announced on 31st March 2017.

If you are a Harrogate district based school and have any questions about the competition, wish to organise a site visit or find out about other ways of getting involved in the project, please tweet us @HarryFairclough or get in touch with our schools liaison officer Chloe Greenwood at chloe.greenwood@harryfairclough.co.uk


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Introducing project architect: Farrell & Clark

F&CWe are pleased to be working in partnership with Leeds-based architects, Farrell and Clark on the Harrogate Borough Council new civic headquarters project and we are working closely with them to ensure that we deliver the vision for the Knapping Mount site.


Farrell and Clark are inventive, energetic and dedicated architects, master planners and sustainable designers with studios in Leeds and London. The firm has an excellent reputation for delivering quality architecture in both public and private sector projects. The practice has been recognised for the quality of their buildings with success in many national and regional awards.

David Morland, architect and partner at Farrell & Clark, explains why the firm was selected, the design vision for the final building and how it will enhance the local area for those living and working in Harrogate.

Architect blog 1What is your vision for Knapping Mount?

Our main vision for Knapping Mount is to create an enjoyable and vibrant place for people to work and visit.  Paramount to this vision is the concept of spaces which support modern working practices and allow the Council’s services to work cohesively on the same site.

Our design of the new HQ and surrounding landscape embraces the existing attractive mature wooded parkland environment into which they are set. We have given key consideration to the wooded and grassed space with the development being designed to retain the amenity value and promote ecology and sustainability. Designed to be a highly sustainable building, Knapping Mount will contribute to building a lower-carbon world and become a building Harrogate can be proud of and identify with.

How do you think the design of the building will enhance the local area?

Knapping Mount has been designed with a great deal of care, consultation and attention to the local conservation area in which the building sits.

The form and shape of the building are distinctive and unique whilst the scale, materials and proportion respect neighbouring structures and the wider conservation area.

The design enhances the public amenity spaces, creating a network of pedestrian routes with additional woodland planting being introduced throughout, creating swathe of spring flowers in areas which are currently bare. The addition of a central courtyard links the existing formal footpaths to the West and St Luke’s Avenue. The development will provide a potential civic space to host small gatherings whilst also providing access parking.

The community will benefit from a new public entrance and customer service centre, whilst retaining the existing wooded parkland and amenity grassed area to the South approach.  A new central courtyard will link the informal footpaths on the West to St Luke’s Avenue.

Overall the development encompasses facilities which in turn ensure the council is able to provide a better services for residents and visitors.

Partnership announcement: Harry Fairclough & Harrogate College introduce ‘experience construction’ scheme on iconic new building project

The launch of our ‘experience construction’ partnership with Harrogate College will give students the opportunity to get involved in the many aspects of the construction of Harrogate Borough Council’s iconic new civic headquarters. As an important building in the district, tHC logohey will experience first-hand what goes into the building process on a project of this scale.

We will be working closely with the college’s Brickwork and Joinery students to offer work experience opportunities onsite, as well as with students from across the college who are studying subjects such as artwork, business and photography.

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We will also be arranging visits and inductions at the site for apprentices. These will be co-ordinated through Harrogate College HCUK Training.  As a company it is a priority for us to ensure that young people understand the possibilities that a career in construction presents. By involving students in this flagship project, we will be able to help bridge skills gaps and provide training that will enable students to see the range of exciting career opportunities available to them.

Watch this space for updates on what the students will get up to during their time on-site with Julian and the rest of our site team.

Progress update w/c 26/10/15: Tree pruning and protection

Bardsey Tree Services has arrived onsite today to remove a small area of trees and shrubs from site in preparation for demolition work to begin.


We have a commitment on this project to ensure that we minimise the environmental impact of all construction activity and working with like-minded companies will help us to achieve this. We are therefore working with local experts Bardsey Tree Services who have over 20 years’ experience in tree pruning and protection. The firm recycles 100% of its green waste by using the timber for firewood and using the remainder of the wood to create biomass fuel for power stations.

We are also working very closely with architects for the scheme, Farrell & Clark and a specialist arborist to ensure that proper care and planning is implemented and that we preserve as many of the trees on the site as possible and enhance the surrounding landscape. Following this initial clearance, tree protection measures will be put in place to protect the remaining trees throughout each phase of construction.

David Morland, architect and partner at Farrell & Clark explains: “The design of the new Civic HQ, and its surrounding landscape embrace the existing attractive mature wooded parkland environment into which they are set. The retention of the existing landscape character and as many mature trees as possible have been key considerations of the design.

Ornamental shrub planting will be incorporated to the immediate building environment. New planting to the peripheral edges of the development will be in keeping with the character of the existing wooded and grassed parkland, and will be designed to retain its amenity value and promote ecology and sustainability.

In addition, the scheme has been designed to enhance public amenity spaces on the site. The scheme will create a new central courtyard which links the existing informal footpaths to the west to St Luke’s Avenue and create a flexible hard landscape space in front of the building, generally to provide access parking but also to provide a potential civic space for occasional small gatherings. The existing wooded parkland and amenity grassed areas to the south approach to the building will more or less be retained as existing. However the opportunity will be taken to provide new footpaths focussing on the public entrance and customer service centre. Additional woodland bulbs will also be introduced in this area with its existing swathes of spring daffodils retained and enhanced in places where it is currently bare.”

Construction update for residents – letter drop, October 2015

October 2015

Dear Neighbour,

Welcome to the first Harry Fairclough Construction update, providing you with the latest information on the build of Harrogate Borough Council’s Civic Headquarters.

As the Project Manager for the scheme, I thought I would give you a little background on who we are and what will be happening over the next few weeks. For those of you who are not familiar with Harry Fairclough Construction, we are a Yorkshire-based contractor with over 100 years’ experience in the business. We are experts in delivering local authority projects and pride ourselves on creating inspirational working environments. We work closely with our clients and the communities in which we work to ensure that our projects are a success.

Whilst we are working in your community we will make it our mission to be considerate neighbours and will regularly update you on any works that might affect your day.

Upcoming works

In terms of what to expect in the coming weeks, work will begin onsite in October. During the first phase our focus will be on getting the site ready for demolition so that construction can commence. You will soon see signs going up around the location of the build informing you that the footpaths running through the site, which we understand are used by local dog walkers, will be closed during construction. We hope this doesn’t cause too much inconvenience, but as I am sure you will understand, we need to ensure that the site is safe for everyone. Fencing will also be erected so that the site is safely cordoned off and two site offices will be installed. Protection measures will be put in place to ensure that the trees surrounding the site will remain unaffected by the construction. We will also make sure that local wildlife, such as bats will not be affected by the construction work over the months ahead.

Keep informed

Should you have any queries or would like to discuss any aspect of the project, please do not hesitate to speak with us. So that you can keep up to date with progress we have set up a project blog http://www.harrogatecivichq.com. Here you will find regular updates on the construction work and you will also be able to ask questions and leave comments for our onsite team to respond to. You are also welcome to email me if you have any queries at Julian.Crane@harryfairclough.co.uk

We look forward to being a part of your community.

Kind Regards, Julian and the Harry Fairclough site team

Month one of the build – what to expect

Work onsite will begin during October and in the first month our focus will be on getting the site set up and ready for demolition and construction activity to commence.


Fencing and signage will be erected to ensure that the site is safely cordoned off and two site offices will be installed.

An important first step will be to put tree protection measures in place to ensure that the trees surrounding the site remain unaffected by construction and we will also ensure that there are no bats or other wildlife affected prior to commencing the works.

Introducing our ‘experience construction’ scheme to local schools and colleges

Encouraging careers in construction and educating young people on what goes into building infrastructure in their local environment is an important element of many of our projects. During our time on site we would love to introduce the project and what it takes to construct a building of this scale to young people from the local area.

Work experience

During our site visits pupils will be given a tour of the site from a safe vantage point and will be able to observe a live construction site in action as well as have the opportunity to ask questions of our site team. If you are unable to come to us, we would also love the opportunity to visit your school and present an engaging and interactive assembly, bringing the project to life.

If you are a Harrogate based school interested in bringing students for a site visit to gain an insight into the different roles of workers on the site and see the plans for this important building taking shape then please get in touch with our schools liaison officer Chloe Greenwood at chloe.greenwood@harryfairclough.co.uk