A North Yorkshire event venue has announced a new name and re-branding as part of long-term plans to strengthen and maintain its competitiveness.

Harrogate International Centre (HIC Yorkshire) will drop its current logo and title from April, replacing the old branding with one based on the centre’s main auditorium.

The plan will also see the complex go under the new name of Harrogate Convention Centre.

Brain Dobson, head of sales and events at the venue, said: “The rebranding is part of our 10-year plan to modernise and keep the business relevant in a tough market, while drawing on the experience, not only of our venue but of Harrogate as a town, in welcoming major events.

“We have been hosting conventions in Harrogate for almost 200 years and, through smart investment in our facilities and recognising our strengths, we have a great foundation for the next 200 years. It’s about staying relevant in a rapidly changing events industry.”

He added: “We want to get more emphasis on the name ‘Harrogate’ in our branding. The name HIC Yorkshire didn’t really get across what we do or where we are.

“Harrogate, really, is our unique selling point; people love it when they come here. It’s a great town.

“We decided on the word ‘convention’ because it means a gathering of people with similar interests or professions, whether at a conference or exhibition – and that’s exactly what we do here.”

Funding for the project was kept within the venue’s annual marketing budgets and the business has used local North Yorkshire companies to carry out all the work. These include Knaresborough-based TIG Design, which designed the new logo, and Extreme Creations, a Harrogate agency that is also working on a separate project to design a website.