March proposals considered for reduced Nottinghamshire County Show
A decision on whether a much scaled down version of the Nottinghamshire County Show can go ahead will be made in March when the country knows if lockdown will be eased.
Chairman of the show council Roger Jackson said plans had been drawn up for an event that would probably involve only livestock exhibitors with no public in attendance.
It would be a one-day event rather than two, taking place on Saturday, May 8.
Conversations are being held with livestock farmers, some of whom are said to be in favour if the restrictions allow, others less so.
Mr Jackson acknowledged time for organisation was a factor.
“We are trying our best,” said Mr Jackson. “But we are where we are. We will have to wait to see what Boris says.
“If we are allowed to hold some form of show, it’s how we do it.
“We want to do something to keep the Nottinghamshire Show going after last year’s cancellation.
“A number of county shows have already cancelled.”
The county show usually attracts thousands of visitors during the second weekend of May and is the first of the year nationally.
Pre-covid, there were plans to move with the times and widen the appeal, which included the potential of changing the date to July — a review Mr Jackson said has now been shelved.
Newark Showground, where the show takes place, has been hit hard with the cancellation of events throughout last year due to coronavirus and it is those events that prop up the county show financially.
“We have barely made a shilling in a year,” said Mr Jackson.
“We definitely couldn’t have a third year of this. We’ve had to furlough staff and sadly make one or two redundant.
“We have received government grants where possible, but that’s no substitute for the revenue our events bring in.
“We are into spending our reserves but are under no immediate threat and could borrow against our many assets if we needed to.”
Mr Jackson said planning was going ahead for the nationally-recognised machinery and vintage tractor shows in the autumn.
“We are lucky in that we are fully booked and all the events that cancelled last year have rolled over to this. People are still ringing up to make bookings,” said Mr Jackson.
“As more and more people get inoculated, hopefully things relax enough for us to be able to hold at the least socially-distanced events in the open air, like we were able to do with one antique fair.”
Mr Jacksonthanked the showground chief executive and staff for their hard work through the pandemic.