Rudding Park Estate, a portfolio of rural businesses and properties in Follifoot, has become a Premier Partner of Harrogate International Festivals.

The Premier Partner scheme invites businesses to support the arts charity’s year-round delivery.

Harrogate International Festivals hosted its busiest and biggest portfolio of summer Festivals last year, marking its 50th anniversary. The programme for the 2017 Harrogate Music Festival is now on sale, featuring the John Wilson Orchestra, opera star Sir Bryn Terfel and poet, Ian McMillan. This year, Harrogate International Festivals also launched a ground-breaking initiative to give under-18s free of charge opportunities to experience live arts performances; ‘Library of Live’ is supported by Arts Council England.

Owner of Rudding Park Estate, Mark Mackaness, said: “We introduced two children to the Festival’s Sunday Series concert with violinist Francesca Dego. We were so impressed by the quality of the performance, and this initiative to engage young people, that we felt compelled to become a Premier Partner. We’re delighted to support this world-class portfolio of music and literature festivals, as well as the outreach and educational work that impacts on so many in our region.”

Harrogate International Festivals has an annual £8.2m economic impact on the town’s tourism economy.

Mark added: “It’s a charity we shouldn’t take for granted. We strongly believe local businesses should show their support and celebrate the Arts. It is one of the leading Festivals in the North of England and we should safeguard and treasure it to keep enriching the community that we live and work in.”

Rudding Park Estate is a widely diversified rural estate with a range of businesses, including office and residential property management and rentals, holiday apartments, green energy provision and farming services.

Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Mark and Rudding Park Estate – as an arts charity, only 2% of our income is from public money and so we are very welcome of this show of support from such an esteemed local business.”