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The fair takes place four times a year at the Pavilions, which is part of the Great Yorkshire Showground outside Harrogate town centre. It has been run by Mr Bailey since the mid-1990s.

Sue Ede, owner of Cooper Fairs, will organise her first Pavilions fair from September 10-12 while Mr Bailey holds his final outing at the venue from June 11-13 when the change of ownership will be formally announced.

One of the major attractions of the fixture for Mrs Ede is the room for expansion and she estimates it can produce space for up to 120 exhibitors. In its early days under Robert Bailey this Harrogate fair attracted around 100 exhibitors but in recent years the total had dropped to under 30.

Sue Ede bought the Tatton Park fair in Cheshire from Robert Bailey earlier this year and the acquisition of Harrogate for a reported “substantial five-figure sum” brings her national tally up to 14 fairs a year at six venues.

The dates for the four 2011 Harrogate fairs will be announced shortly, as will a number of changes to ensure the new regime maximises aspects of presentation and marketing.

Mrs Ede told ATG: “The Pavilions of Harrogate Fair will complement perfectly our programme of events in well-known high status venues.”