Show poised to boost local economy

THE 2008 Suffolk Show - taking place at the Trinity Park showground outside Ipswich later this month - is poised to deliver a massive boost for the local economy, with trade stand space fully booked and livestock entries holding up well despite the bluetongue outbreak.

THE 2008 Suffolk Show - taking place at the Trinity Park showground outside Ipswich later this month - is poised to deliver a massive boost for the local economy, with trade stand space fully booked and livestock entries holding up well despite the bluetongue outbreak.

There will be more than 700 trade stands at this year's show - on Wednesday and Thursday, May 28 and 29 - including around 100 new exhibitors, with the amount of space available at the show having been increased this year to meet demand.

The total includes an increased contingent of agricultural machinery suppliers, reflecting the more buoyant mood of the arable sector amid sharply increased cereal prices, but the increase in the number of exhibitors is repeated across the board, from car dealerships and financial institutions to clothing retailers and craft companies.

Animal entries are also strong, with the show likely to feature a record of 186 heavy horses together with 1,324 entries across the light horse classes,357 cattle and 404 sheep - despite continued concerns over bluetongue - and 92 pigs.


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The principal sponsor of this year's show is the Port of Felixstowe, which will be using the event to showcase its Felixstowe South expansion project which is set to create more than 1,500 additional jobs.

Southwold brewer and leisure retailer Adnams is sponsoring the Food Hall, rebranded as The Adnams Food & Drink Experience. It will feature more than 60 exhibitors and a range of cookery demonstrations, with a strong emphasis on local produce.

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Adnams also plans to use the event to launch a draught version of its new East Green beer, developed as the country's first “carbon neutral” ale with the support of the University of East Anglia, and currently only available in bottled form from Tesco or Adnams' own Cellar & Kitchen stores.

Honorary show director Peter Over, taking charge of his first Suffolk Show having begun a three-year stint in the role following last year's event, said yesterday the show would be “bursting at the seems with activity and new and improved features”.

Heading the entertainment line-up in the main ring will be the Equimax Metropolitan Police Activity Ride, a demonstration of horsemanship featuring horses and riders who are also involved in front-line policing in London.

Most of the country's leading show jumpers will also be at the show, with the programme being led by an International Trial and the Fred. Olsen Gran Prix, while the Grand Ring will also see a Grand Parade of champion livestock on both days of the show.

In the President's Ring, the judging of sheep and heavy horses will be followed by the Jive Pony and X-Treme Motocross display teams.

An improved Countryside area, near the popular Children's Farm feature, will include gun dog and tree surgeon displays while the Wildlife area will include woodland crafts and pond dipping.

The Suffolk: Creating the Greenest County initiative which was launched at the Suffolk Show last year will feature in a new Green Village area for companies producing and supplying “green” products and services.

The theme of the Farminanglia demonstration area this year will be “Hidden Treasure”, focusing on potato production, while other popular attractions including the Interactive Sports Village, Flower Show, Dog Show and Suffolk Skills areas will also feature once more.

Evening entertainment on day one of the show - which regularly sees up to 5,000 visitors extending their day out well in to the evening - will be Take on That, a Take That tribute act.

This year's show will again be a Royal occasion, with Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester due to visit on Day one.

A family ticket covering entry for two adults and two children, plus car parking, is available in advance of the show for £35 or on the day for £45, with prices having been held at last year's levels. The Trinity Park showground will also be served by buses from all three of Ipswich's Park & Ride sites - at Bury Road, London Road and Martlesham - on both days of the show.

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