THE organisation behind the biggest agricultural show in the North has been granted planning permission for a £10m exhibition hall.

Yorkshire Agricultural Society has received permission from Harrogate Borough Council to replace one of its exhibition halls at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate, after a structural inspection revealed the existing hall would need extensive work to upgrade.

An officer's report to council stated the proposal would not undermine conference and business tourism or harm the vitality and viability of Harrogate town centre and would allow the showground to grow and provide a better service to its customers.

Building the hall will be the largest single project the society, which was formed in 1837, has undertaken.

Construction will not begin until July 2015, after next year's Great Yorkshire Show.

The move will see the showground's 5,372sq m of lettable event space increase to 6,270msq m.

A society spokeswoman said: "The showground is already a key venue year round for conferences, exhibitions and private functions, putting around £47m back into the region’s economy each year.

“Harrogate is a great events destination and this project will help broaden its appeal."