In Brief: Ministerial visit, Forsters, Think Renewable Energy, Harrogate International Centre

MINISTER for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has visited the Leeds-based Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to see how it is helping the UK as a global healthcare provider.

Mr Maude spent time with information experts to learn how HSCIC is at the forefront of data innovation to improve patient care and is working with life science and information companies to support growth in the economy.

HSCIC, which employs more than 300 people at its city centre headquarters, is the country’s central, authoritative source of health and social care information. It works with hundreds of health and social care providers nationwide to provide the facts and figures needed for services to  run effectively.

The independent body also publishes more than 100 health and social care statistical publications each year.

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “People in Yorkshire may not be aware their county is home to an organisation with an enormous  part to play in helping services run effectively and ensuring the UK is at the cutting edge of care data innovation.” 


A BISTRO and deli is to receive backing through Bradford’s City Centre Growth Zone.

Forsters bistro and deli, which has moved into Centenary Buildings in Centenary Square, is to receive support from Bradford Council after revealing it is creating several new jobs and nine new apprenticeships.

The 100-seater restaurant in this prime location is one of the first businesses to capitalise on the £35m City Centre Growth Zone funding.

It was opened by Bradford’s Forster Community College which has been providing education and training in the Bradford area for 32 years.

Bradford Council Leader, Coun David Green, said: “We now have several businesses successfully capitalising on the City Centre Growth Zone funding and Forsters said it was a major factor in them moving to Centenary Square.”


A COMPANY specialising in large scale renewable energy schemes has completed one of the North of England’s biggest ground mounted solar panel installations at a farm near York.

The 190kW ground-mounted scheme by Harrogate-based Think Renewable Energy features 790 solar panels and will generate electricity for Fridlington Farms at Sutton-on-the-Forest.

Think’s operations director Jamie Warden said the installation would provide energy security and cost savings for the farm.

“Fridlington Farms is a major energy user and the electricity generated will help reduce operating costs,” he said.


THE new £11.5m exhibition halls at Harrogate International Centre (HIC) have received the highest five star ranking from BREEAM, the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.

The centre’s new bespoke exhibition halls scored an ‘outstanding’ 87.98% in the recent assessment.

Council leader and chairman of the HIC Board, Coun Anthony Alton, said from the outset the council aimed to achieve the BREEAM  score of excellent for the new exhibitions halls.

He added: “Like many businesses, we are faced with crippling taxes if we exceed the government’s restrictions on energy use. So attaining a high level of sustainability was part and parcel of the design concept and contract.”