INITIAL plans to redevelop Harrogate convention centre have taken a step forward.

The convention centre contributes more than £60m to the local economy each year and Harrogate Borough Council, which owns the site, is keen to ensure that it remains competitive.

Property advisors Cushman & Wakefield - leading a wider team comprising Arup, IPW, Gardiner & Theobald, Group Ginger and DWF - have been appointed to find ways of improving and developing the centre, including attracting other occupiers.

Stephen Miles, of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “This is an important instruction that will identify a way of facilitating improvements to the centre [and] unlocking new development opportunities that will benefit the town centre economy.”

Simon Kent, director of the centre, which boasts 17,000sqm of conference and exhibition space, added: “I’m looking forward to seeing ideas for further integrating the centre into Harrogate town centre and strengthening our position in the events industry.”