The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has announced the cancellation of the Royal Welsh Show along with May’s Smallholding and Countryside Festival and the postponement of Clwyd’s Feature County Year until 2022.
In a statement, the society said: “Our team continues to work in partnership with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to ensure the event sector has a strong voice, however current restrictions, as set out in the ‘Coronavirus Control Plan’ and the various Alert Levels mean that it is impossible to hold large events this summer. Any restrictions on numbers and the associated 2 metre social distancing rules are major barriers to the viability of events, such as the Royal Welsh Show. That said our staff, trustees and the whole Society are committed to ensuring the showground is event ready when rules allow.
“Despite the postponement of the Royal Welsh Show, the Society is committed to exploring every opportunity to host smaller COVID compliant events during the summer and it is our ambition to host a bumper Winter Fair, before returning to a new normality in 2022. Further announcements will be made later in the Spring, when a better understanding of the pandemic and restrictions is available.”
Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Steve Hughson said: “We continue to work alongside the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to create a Road Map for the safe re-opening of events. Our events are central to the rural economy and way of life and mean so much to members, exhibitors, traders and visitors and we fully understand the responsibility on all of us to ensure we deliver our events as soon as it is safe to do so. Despite these challenges the Society has stepped forward to support our local community by providing free facilities for a COVID Testing Centre and a mass vaccination centre.”
Chairman of the Board of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, John T Davies said: “It is with the regret that the decision has been made to cancel this year’s Smallholding and Countryside Festival and to postpone the Royal Welsh Show. We will explore the possibilities of smaller, alternative events this summer and with the Board of Directors will continue to focus on protecting our Society for the next generation. We greatly appreciate the support of our members and other stakeholders. The continued support of all associated with the Society has never been more important.”
Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, said: “The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest agricultural festival in Europe, celebrating our Welsh rural life.
“The decision to postpone the show last year was deeply disappointing, but to have postponed for a second year would certainly not have been an easy decision.
“Regrettably, organisers will have been left with no choice but to have reached this decision.
“Today is a sad day for rural communities in Wales, especially following the decision to postpone the National Eisteddfod.”
(Lead image: Geograph / Robin Drayton)