The Field & Country Fair will step into the gap left by the demise of the CLA Game Fair and will offer visitors and exhibitors a show to see and be seen at
Organised by Time Inc UK, the publishing company behind such well-respected, established and popular titles as Country Life, The Field, Shooting Times, Shooting Gazette and Sporting Gun, it promises to be an event that pulls together all the most popular aspects of country sports, exhibitions and shows.
A difficult decision
Director General of the CLA Helen Woolley said: “The Game Fair is an important and well-loved event with a long tradition. It is a difficult decision that we deeply regret having to take.
“We are extremely proud of the Game Fairs that we have put on in recent years and we are grateful to our Game Fair team that have delivered these high quality, professional, events.
Competition from other outdoor events
“Unfortunately an increasingly crowded summer calendar of outdoor events has contributed to falling attendance. This has led to the event failing to generate enough income and has made the event financially unsustainable.
“Over the last three years the Board made the decision to invest in the Game Fair because of our strong desire to turn the event around. We have been able to make this investment because of the otherwise robust financial position of the CLA. However, we can no longer ask CLA members to allow their membership subscriptions to underwrite the losses the event makes.
“The CLA remains committed to providing industry-leading advice and support, running a busy schedule of other national and regional events and being an effective lobbying voice for rural business.”
Begun in 1958
The first CLA Game Fair took place more than 50 years ago, in 1958. A group of gamekeepers had wanted to run a national event and the Country Landowners’ Association decided to support them.
It has been called the ‘Glastonbury for the green wellie brigade’ and has attracted about the same number of people.
Shane Brennan, Director of External Affairs, said: “Declining attendance can be blamed on strong competition from other events taking place at the same time and also a change in people’s shopping behaviour – with many goods now being bought online.”
The CLA Game Fair organisers stress that they are very proud of what has been achieved in past years and that much has been done to reduce the running costs.