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Top award for Dales business pioneer

[Wednesday 02 July 2008]

A YOUNG Yorkshire Dales businessman who transformed as threatened stately home into a bustling business centre wills today (July 2) receive a top architectural award for what is in effect his estate “canteen.”

When Roger Tempest took over the running of Broughton Hall, near Skipton, the estate – which had been in the family since the 12th Century – was haemorrhaging money and Roger faced the prospect of having to sell up.

Instead, he converted old estate buildings like stables and workshops into ultra modern offices served by first fax and then the Internet and built up a thriving rural business park which has now been copied by stately home owners throughout Britain.

But although hundreds of top-level executives work at 49 offices on the estate, there was nowhere for them to go to have lunch – so Roger ordered the building of a state-of-the-art cafe/restaurant called he named Utopia.

Today, the building will be presented with the Country Land and Business Association’s President’s Award by Michael Jack MP, chairman of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Affairs Committee.

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