Royal Welsh Show receives £200,000 after 'unprecedented year'

The pandemic caused the cancellation of hundreds of country shows this year
The pandemic caused the cancellation of hundreds of country shows this year

Organisers behind the Royal Welsh Show have been given £200,000 in financial support to help the reinstatement of future events following a tough year for country shows.

The Welsh government has provided funding for Wales' flagship and largest agricultural event after 2020's show was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Covid-19 restrictions saw the cancellation of hundreds of country shows across the UK this year, having a serious impact on all societies and their future resilience.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) faced 'unprecedented circumstances' this year.

"I have always said we are seeing the perfect storm as we face the twin challenges of Covid and the impact leaving the transition period brings.

"This funding will help support the RWAS resilience at this difficult time for the sector," the minister said.

Half of the £200,000 funding package will come from the Welsh government's major events budget.

Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Culture, who has responsibility for major events, said it was important to support major events during the pandemic.

"We understand how crucial these shows are to the sector, not only helping them showcase Welsh produce but also building relationships with others from the agricultural industry," he said.

Reflecting the importance of agricultural shows, over the summer the minister commissioned an independent resilience review of shows across Wales.

The review, carried out by Aled Jones, a Nuffield Scholar who completed an international study into the future of agricultural shows and societies, made a series of recommendations to support the resilience and reinstatement of shows next year.

Ministers have accepted all of the review’s recommendations, and have therefore announced a new innovation fund to help show societies reinstate shows in 2021.

Other recommendations in the review include the need for Welsh government to produce guidance for show organisers over the arrangements for staging events in 2021 in line with any public health restrictions.

Encouraging greater collaboration between shows through the Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) as well as introducing training for individuals working within show societies were also recommended.