End of an era

The Royal Show in Warwickshire will close its gates for the final time on Friday (10 July) in an event that has lasted 170 years.

Although a programme of initiatives and other events have been announced, a replacement livestock championship event for next year has not materialised into firm plans organisers have stated.

Royal Agricutural Society of England (RASE) marketing director Denis Chamberlain said: “We are working across the board with livestock breeders and so on. We have to listen to so many people. We were hoping to announce the event today but we have not been able to.”

Chamberlain added that there was not a consensus among the 50 breed societies on how to take the event forward and that the event was losing more than £200,000 a year in staging, which has been losing visitors and exhibitors for a number of years. “We could not go on sanctioning that sort of black hole.”

Alternatives to a Royal Show style event had been considered added organisers including taking an event around the regions and creating a food and farming event with the support of the supermarket groups and a new team has been put in place recently to reshape and rebuild the RASE into an organisation fit for purpose for the 21st century. “This is no overnight job and there is still some way to go,” Chamberlain added.

Among new events announced for the coming year has been the AgriLIVE Smithfield replacing the Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair held in 2006 and 2008 in Somerset which is itself a replacement of the former London Earls Court Royal Smithfield Show.

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