By Will Finch
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Rural businesses face bankruptcy following the cancellation of summer events, such as the CLA Game Fair, due to recent wet weather conditions.
The rural economy has lost at least £150m after a string of countryside events were cancelled recently due to the wet weather.
That figure comes from the Country Land & Business Association (CLA), which had to abandon preparations for its own showpiece event, the CLA Game Fair, last week because of waterlogged ground.
CLA president, Harry Cotterell, said that all those involved in cancelled events would be affected, including organisers, exhibitors, traders and visitors.
He said: “Not only is it heartbreaking when decisions are taken to cancel an event, but the direct and indirect economic impacts can be devastating for all concerned.”
“The knock-on effects could mean small family firms going out of business at a time when trading conditions are fragile and the UK economy is in a double-dip recession.”
The Game Fair accounted for around two-thirds of the total figure, the CLA expected £82m to be spent on site over the event’s three days, plus £34m in the local economy by 140,000 expected visitors.
The CLA estimates around £30m was also lost due to the cancellation of Badminton Horse Trials, £4.5m due to the Great Yorkshire Show being cancelled on the first day, and £5m due to the Suffolk Show being cancelled on the second day.
The total cost of the bad weather to the rural economy could be as high as £240m if smaller events, such as the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, the North Yorkshire County Show, point-to-points and other local agricultural events are taken into account.
Meanwhile, a number of shooting events were organised around the country last weekend in a spirited effort to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the CLA’s annual jamboree.
Open weekends at York Guns and at John Bradshaw’s Gunshop in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, attracted hundreds of people, while visitors to a “mini game fair” at the E. J. Churchill Shooting Ground in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, enjoyed shooting competitions, classes and game day shooting advice.
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