Call to west: Come and join us at this year’s Suffolk Show
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Residents in the west of the county should give the Suffolk Show a go, say organisers of the event.
Key personnel involved in the running of the flagship county event were in Bury St Edmunds this week to launch a campaign to attract a greater diversity of visitors to it.
Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) chief executive Nicola Bateman, show director Bill Baker and SAA trustee Peter Over all live in west Suffolk and are keen to promote the event, which attracts around 85,000 visitors over two days, to a wider audience and bring in more west Suffolk residents.
As part of its strategy to widen the show’s appeal, the SAA is linking up this year with West Suffolk College, whose business department is carrying out a study looking into why people attend or don’t attend the event.
Mr Over, who farms at Elmswell, said there was a lot of input from farmers in the west of the county, but as an organisation they needed to underline that it was an event for the whole of the county.
“I think it’s happened over time, and probably we haven’t done enough to correct it really,” he said.
“Perhaps we ourselves haven’t pushed ourselves out that way to connect with people and I think people associated it with being an Ipswich-based show and an agricultural show instead of a great day out for the county.”
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Some potential show-goers believed wrongly that the event would be the same every year which couldn’t be further from the truth, he said.
“I think the show has been a bit lost on west Suffolk and I think they have probably got an idea in their heads of what the show is like, but the show has expanded and changed so much over the years,” he said.
Ms Bateman, who lives at Tostock, near Bury St Edmunds, said that as residents of west Suffolk they were “very passionate” about getting that side of the county involved.
“The event is the Suffolk Show and is showcasing the best of Suffolk over the two days,” she said.
They want residents from areas such as Bury, Haverhill, Newmarket and the Brecks to make the trip, she added.
Mr Baker, who farms at Drinkstone, said: “We are the county show of Suffolk and we should be stretching into all four corners of it and making sure that people feel like the Suffolk Show is as much theirs, irrespective of where they live in the county, as it is the residents of Ipswich.”
The show wanted to attract people from all communities, he said, and to meet its charity objectives.
“Commercially also we need to balance the books so we are leaving no stone unturned, making sure we attract more people to see what we have got to offer and we are convinced when we persuade people to come they will be pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do.”
The Suffolk Show takes place on May 27 and 28. For the latest news and to buy discounted tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk