Royal Hall, Harrogate

Royal Hall, Harrogate

Civic Trust Awards 2010: Shortlisted

RIBA White Rose Award 2009: Shortlisted

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Pro-Yorkshire Awards – Awards for Building Conservation and Overall Best Project Awards 2009

BCI Awards 2008: Conservation – High Commendation

British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) Conservation Award 2008



The Royal Hall, Listed Grade II* designed by Robert Beale and Frank Matcham, is a rare example of a building type that, although of fairly frequent occurrence elsewhere in Europe, never completely established itself in England. The building is almost the last example of a ‘Kursaal’: a multi-functional entertainment venue normally associated with spa or seaside towns and which had its beginnings in the early nineteenth century.

The construction of the building employed an innovative, at the time, fire-proof material built of clinker concrete filler joist construction on a steel frame. However, the concrete had subsequently failed and was crumbling away, undermining the highly ornate and decorative finishes within the building which had additionally become badly water damaged over time. 


there is no doubt that what has been achieved represents superb value for money, an in-depth restoration of this magnitude in a hall for an audience of 1,000 people, achieved on a budget of less than £11 million is exceptional value. The restoration has achieved and surpassed the client’s expectations
— Stuart Quin, Director, Harrogate International Centre, 2008


Burrell Foley Fischer approached this sensitive conservation and restoration project by focussing on the authenticity of historic details through careful research. For example, through the analysis of paint scrapes it was rewarding to discover that the original interior was largely gilt and gold leaf with a dark blue vaulted ceiling representing the night sky.

The project was carried out within a functioning international conference centre without detriment to the programme of conference and exhibitions and was completed on time and on budget.


the project has been carried out with excellence, flair, and exceptional level of competence. The royal hall is restored to the community and will be a major benefit to the harrogate district’s culture, tourism and the local economy for many years to come
— Stuart Quin, Director, Harrogate International Centre, 2008