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Royal Welsh Show’s Horticulture Section mothballed for 2023 due to financial concerns

14 Apr 2023 2 minute read
Horticulture Displays at the Royal Welsh Show. Photo by Haydn Blackey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) has confirmed the Horticulture Section will not feature at this year’s Royal Welsh Show due to financial concerns.

Describing the decision as “difficult” the society said the move was made due to the extreme financial challenges it faced in the wake of the pandemic, rising costs and inflation.

Last year it experienced a significant operating loss, which is forecast to develop into a major budget deficit if current spending is continued.

The RWAS made the decision to mothball the section for this year after identifying that the Horticulture Section of the show is losing around £40,000 each year.

Fallow year

Richard Price, the Honorary Show Director said, “While we fully recognise this will be disappointing news for many visitors, competitors and volunteers, the year’s break will be an opportunity to develop the Horticulture Section ahead of a big re-launch in 2024. By having, in effect, a ‘fallow year’, it will give us more time to review how best we promote horticulture at the show going forward.”

Aled Rhys Jones, the Chief Executive added, “This is an exciting opportunity to look at new ways to grow the section, working with other organisations, businesses and stakeholders to expand to areas such as winemaking, sensory gardens and junior competitions.

“There is also an opportunity to support the Welsh Government’s ambition to grow more of the fruit and vegetables we eat here in Wales, alongside targets to grow the commercial sector for ornamental horticulture.”

A statement from the RWAS added: “The promotion of horticulture is one of the Society’s key charitable objectives and will continue to be an important feature in all our events, including the gardening stands at the Smallholding & Countryside Festival in May and the floral art and horticulture competitions at the Winter Fair in November.”

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