The Show is back – and with Countryfile
The Newbury Agricultural Show returns next year.
And it is understood that its organizers are in talks with the BBC’s Countryfile program to jointly organize the show, Newbury today can reveal.
The Newbury and District Agricultural Society (NADAS) held an annual general meeting last Thursday attended by around 100 people, during which the plans were discussed.
The company would not officially confirm the details as it is believed the final details are still being worked out with the BBC.
But the show will return next September and is set to take place over three days rather than two.
The move marks a turnaround for the financially beleaguered showground, which now claims to be in the dark rather than the red.
It has also made an offer to West Berkshire Council to ease planning restrictions to allow it to hold events during the winter months.
These plans have yet to be decided.
“During the winter, expenses outweigh income,” said board member Steve Ackrill.
“But we are happy with the way things are going. If we can use the building for the additional four months, that will really help.”
He said the company now had a surplus of £96,000.
“So everything is going in the right direction and we are expecting a profit of £50,000 for the current year,” he added.
” I am very happy. But we have a long way to go, I don’t dispute that.”
The Newbury and District Agricultural Society’s financial situation was in the spotlight last year after a financial loss of almost £200,000 the previous year.
It was rumored that the company, which manages the show ground, would go into administration unless the land was sold to developers.
The move sparked a coup by members ousting the board last year. More than 500 people had responded to an online poll organized by the group Save The Showground, with 98% in favor of maintaining ownership with the company.
The 177-acre site, which is situated in a prime location at the junction of the M4 and A34 in Chieveley, has been home to the Royal County of Berkshire Show since 1984.
However, substantial six-figure losses from the 2018 and 2019 shows, combined with lower rental income from exhibitions, a large bank loan and reduced available cash reserves meant even before the pandemic that the company’s finances were “not in good shape”.