Harry Fairclough recruits local student to ‘experience construction’ on Civic Centre build

RIchard Haldane

Local student Richard Haldane has joined the Harry Fairclough site team for an eight week work experience placement to support his civil engineering studies and future career in the construction industry. Richard has lived in Harrogate, within a five minute walk from the site with his family for a number of years and attended St John Fisher Catholic High School. He knows the area well and was keen to work for a local contractor on a significant project in his hometown.

Richard comments: “I’m currently studying for a civil engineering degree at Nottingham Trent University, having just completed my first year and was determined to use the summer break as an opportunity to gain some valuable hands on training and experience. The Harrogate Borough Council Civic Centre build is almost on my doorstep and provides the opportunity for me to gain some real practical experience to bring my studies to life and give me an insight into the workings of a live construction site.”

Richard Haldane - work experienceRichard joined the Harry Fairclough team at the beginning of August and will complete his placement around the end of September. After a thorough induction process, including health and safety briefings and all processes and systems, Richard will spend a large amount of his remaining time on site shadowing our highly experienced site engineer, Glen Wrigley.

Glen explains: “As a first year civil engineering student this is Richard’s first real taste of what it’s like to be part of the site team on a construction project of this scale. In the coming weeks he will work closely with me on setting out duties, quality assurance measures, liaising with the wider site team and subcontractors and understanding the detail around important details such as site drawings. This is all highly relevant to and will support his studies and with securing further work experience opportunities, as he progresses in his four year course.”

 Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Enterprise concludes: “It is important that we do all we can to encourage young people who are considering a career in the construction industry. Work experience placements and apprenticeships are a fantastic way of providing people with the opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain practical experience, and we are pleased that this opportunity is being offered as part of the construction of our new civic headquarters. The council already employees apprentices in areas such as our In-House Maintenance Team and offers work placement opportunities, and we are delighted that our suppliers are able to offer such opportunities.”

Work experience placements on our sites are just one of the ways in which we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to promoting careers in construction to the next generation. Read more about our latest schools initiative here


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.

Pic 1

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


Map 1



Meeting schools in Harrogate as part of National Careers Week 2016

Our team enjoys getting out and about into the Harrogate community, meeting local residents and updating people with progress on-site at Knapping Mount. This week as part of National Careers Week 2016, our Group HR Director Phil Harris has been getting to know some local schools in Harrogate, introducing them to the project and promoting careers in Construction. Here he is meeting young people and their parents at St Aidan’s High School 


As the project progresses we are keen to engage local schools in the construction of this landmark project. If you are a Harrogate based school interested in finding out about how you can get involved, from bringing students for a site visit to gain an insight into the different roles of workers on the site, to assemblies hosted by our team, then please get in touch with our schools liaison officer Chloe Greenwood at chloe.greenwood@harryfairclough.co.uk

Meet the Buyer event success

Our Meet the Buyer event at Harrogate International Centre on the 18th February 2016 was a great success and we were delighted that so many local businesses came along to find out how they could get involved in this landmark project.

MTB Group

We along with Harrogate Borough Council and our team of subcontractors exhibited at the event, informing local businesses of the packages of work still to be let on the build and the process for getting involved. Exhibiting businesses included, Waterman Group, Bardsey Tree Services, Browne Civil Engineering, PHI Group, Comet Steel and Rotary.

MTB prez

The event kicked off with a presentation, introducing the scheme from Richard Cooper the Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, followed by the architect on the project, David Morland of Farrell & Clark, showcasing the vision for the new building and our Managing Director, David Jones, giving an update of progress on-site. This was followed by networking and over 100 local companies were invited along to introduce their businesses to our project team.

Harrogate College MTB

Harrogate CollegeHCUK Training and CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) also attended to highlight the ways in which local young people can get involved, from work experience opportunities to apprenticeships and how businesses can access funding and support with taking on apprentices in the future.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all local businesses who took the time to attend the event.


Countdown to Meet the Buyer event 18/02/16

Our team is looking forward to hosting the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event this Thursday (18th February 2016) at Harrogate International Centre, 4-6pm. There are still places available so please sign up here if you are interested in coming along and finding out more about the project, the local businesses that we are working in partnership with, how we are engaging young people in the project and future opportunities to get involved in this exciting build.

Health and Safety update at Harrogate College

To kick off our partnership with Harrogate College, our Safety Manager Brian Goodacre was made very welcome by the College yesterday when he delivered a Health and Safety presentation to a group of construction students.


Brian’s talk covered important points about health and safety legislation, accidents, ill health stats and enforcement, providing students with a real understanding of the importance of adopting and adhering to safe working practices on a construction site.

Brian comments: “Thank you to the students for being such an enthusiastic audience and to Harrogate College for inviting us, we are very much looking forward to taking this partnership forward in 2016 and to providing students with the opportunity to experience construction first hand on this exciting project.”



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.