Winning Teams: Yorkshire Agricultural Society
This week's winning team comes from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which works to help improve and promote agriculture in the region.
Founded in 1837, the YAS is best known as the organiser of the Great Yorkshire Show, but nowadays its activities range far beyond livestock judging.
It also runs Harrogate Caravan Park, Pavilions of Harrogate, the Yorkshire Event Centre and award-winning farm shop Fodder. In fact, the YAS won Best Large Company at this year’s Harrogate Advertiser Business Awards.
Altogether, it’s a big operation and the society now employs more than 100 people – plus 350 temporary staff during the Great Yorkshire Show.
“We have a huge range of jobs – plumbers, electricians, showground staff and people in food retail – and they’re reasonably diverse; we have people from Eastern Europe, France, Italy, as well as a lot of local staff,” says chief executive Nigel Pulling.
“But they all understand what we’re trying to do and they all believe in it.”
The team are currently gearing up for the 160th Great Yorkshire Show on July 10-12, but over the longer term the YAS has bigger plans. Later this year, building work will start on a 98-bed hotel on the showground site.
“We’re constantly upgrading the showground and investing in our facilities,” says Mr Pulling. “People’s expectations are rising all the time and we need to make sure our facilities are good enough to meet and surpass them.”