Leek show must go on

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LEEK & District Show – Staffordshire Moorlands’ premier agricultural event for more than half a century – is to go ahead after all in July 2020….and beyond.

The news comes just three months after organisers took the ‘extremely reluctant and sad’ decision to discontinue the long-standing show, following falls in attendance and revenues during the last two years.

Now, funding to enable this year’s event to be held has been secured – and a five-year plan put in place to ensure the Show’s survival well into the new decade.

“The strength of feeling locally that the Show must not be allowed to die has been overwhelming” said Acting Show Chair Rachel Torr.

“Soon after we announced last year that it had become financially impossible for the Show to continue, we were contacted by three members of the local agricultural community who were determined that couldn’t and shouldn’t happen.

“Thanks to their dedication and hard work, and the support of sponsors old and new, the Leek & District Show will now go ahead on Saturday 25th July 2020 – and for the foreseeable future!”

The three businessmen – Kenneth Carr, Bruce Daniel and Ed Simms – have between them considerable experience and expertise in organising and running agricultural events, and have already ensured that sufficient resources are in place for this year’s Show.

“We began by trying to determine what had gone wrong in previous years, and it became clear that the Show needs to be run as a business, on a firm and sustainable financial footing,” said Mr Daniel, who has been involved with Manifold Valley Agricultural Show for 40 years.

“We’ve got the full support of the agricultural community and suppliers, and a five-year plan in place, backed by sponsorship pledges. We don’t want the 2020 Leek & District Show to be a one-off ‘stay of execution’; we want the whole community to ‘own’ it, be prepared to pay to go in, and to continue to invest in its future.”

Mr Daniel and his colleagues are expected to be co-opted onto the Show Committee at a special meeting convened for later this month, and are looking forward to working with existing members to ensure the event’s continued success.

Added Mr Daniel: “We certainly don’t want people to think we’re moving in and taking over; we simply want to contribute our own collective experience and ideas to bolster the strength of the existing committee.”

Leek United has been main sponsor of the Show for the past six years, and has confirmed that its support for the event will also continue.

Andrew Healy, the Society’s Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted that, with the help of our own sponsorship, Leek & District Show can continue this year and beyond. As main sponsor, we look forward to working closely with organisers to help ensure that the Show is a successful summer highlight for local businesses and families alike in the Staffordshire Moorlands.”