PRINCE Harry has announced that York theatrical designer Stage One will be constructing the UK's entry at next year's International Exhibition.

During a ceremony in Rome last night, the Tockwith-based company was named among those selected to create the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015.

Following a design competition the UK will be represented by a structure, designed by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress, which was inspired by the role of a honeybee.

Stage One has been awarded the £6 million contract to build the winning design, alongside London-based RISE.

Welcoming the announcement, Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: “Success in international markets is at the heart of the Government’s long-term plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy.

“The UK’s participation in the Milan Expo will promote the UK’s world leading expertise in the creative, life sciences, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors to our top trade and investment partners.

“Through the UK Pavilion, we will reach millions of visitors and build on the reputation of the UK established at the 2010 Shanghai Expo and the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

The UK Pavilion is the latest in a long line of high-profile contract wins for Stage One, which famously built the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 London Games.

Mark Johnson, managing director of Stage One, said: "We’re delighted to have been selected to construct the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo.

"This is a significant project for Stage One and reflects our increasingly strong relationship with architects and designers.

"It’s a strong validation of our collaborative approach and our ability to deliver creative construction projects successfully.”

Once the UK Pavilion is built, visitors will walk through a fruit orchard and enter a natural wildflower meadow. As they near the centre of the meadow, the focal point of the structure will come into view: a golden orb made of fine steel lattice based on the design of a honeycomb. The ‘Hive’ will pulsate and buzz with the noise of a real bee colony.

The UK Pavilion at the last Universal Expo, a world fair organised by the International Exhibitions Bureau, which was held in Shanghai in 2010, was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, attracted international acclaim and won gold for best design. In the duration of the six month Expo more than eight million people went inside the 'Seed Cathedral', making it the UK's most visited tourist attraction during that time.