Suffolk: Agricultural association reveals loss of £532,000 on the Suffolk Show after day two cancellation

High winds forced the cancellation of day two of the 2012 Suffolk Show

High winds forced the cancellation of day two of the 2012 Suffolk Show

LAST year’s Suffolk Show suffered a loss of more than £500,000, it has been confirmed, after day two of the event had to be cancelled due to gale-force winds.

The annual report from the Suffolk Agricultural Association, which organises the annual showcase event, reveals a deficit for the show of £532,752, largely reflecting lost ticket sales and refunds to exhibitors.

However, the 2013 Suffolk Show will not be affected, with the association incurring the deficit in full and no debt being carried forward in the show accounts.

After a successful first day, which attracted a crowd of more than 40,000, day two was cancelled just 15 minutes after the gates opened when the Met Office upgraded its previous “yellow” alert for high winds to “amber”, warning of possible force nine gales by lunchtime.

With a vast number of marquees, tents and temporary buildings on the Trinity Park showground being vulnerable, show officials decided it would be unsafe to go ahead with the event and the hardy showgoers who had already arrived were asked to leave.

The loss of day two of the show was the major factor in the association’s overall income falling to £2.009million last year, compared with £2.560m in 2011.

Commercial income also fell, from £1.035m to £972,000, although conference income grew, from £31,000 to £37,000, as did rental income, from £13,000 to £14,000.

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Overall expenditure by the association increased from £2.75m to £2.815m, including an increase in Suffolk Show costs to £1.622m, up from £1.583m the previous year.

The resulting net operating loss of £806,000 was partly offset by a nominal gain in the value of the association’s investments of £378,000, reducing the reported deficit for the year to £428,000.

As a result, the total value of association funds carried forward totalled £9.992m, down from £10.420m a year earlier.

The report reveals that a total of £114,228 was paid out in refunds, although many of those offered refunds chose not to take up the offer.

In his annual report, association chairman Stephen Fletcher said that although, as anticipated, the 2012 show had incurred a heavy financial loss, livestock exhibitors, equine competitors, tradestand holders, members and sponsors had all show “remarkable support” in respect of the refund policy adopted.

While the association was continuing to develop a stragegy for the future, including new revenue streams (such as the international polo day held for the first time last year), a change in layout for the showground and the proposed development of 18 acres to the west of the site, the Suffolk Show would remain “a sacrosanct part of our activities”, he added.

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