Royal Lancashire Show cancelled

The Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show has been cancelled because of fears it may be a washout.

Organisers of the flagship event, which attracts 60,000 people, have decided to call off this summer's show with 40mm of rain forecast to fall on the showground at Salesbury, near Ribchester.

Local farmers have expressed disppointment at the cancellation of the show, which is one of the oldest of its type in the country, and warned that the recent bad weather was costing them hundreds of millions.

It follows the cancellation of the Goosnargh and Longridge Show at the weekend because of the weather.

Event organisers came to the decision to cancel the event, due to be held over three days starting Friday July 20, after weather forecasters predicted further torrential rain was forecast over the next two weeks.

A spokesman said the organisers felt they could not hold a proper county show if the showground became waterlogged. He added it will be another 10 days before the cost to Lancashire's economy is fully known.

Andrew Thompson, former show director and council member of the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society, said the decision was made at an emergency meeting on Sunday. Poor weather and ground conditions made it "impossible to stage" the show.

He said: "It is a big disappointment because we have been preparing for 12 months. It wasn't done without a lot of careful thought and consideration.

"Whilst we are just under two weeks off the show we know that with the amount of traffic that is generated it will become an impossible task to perform."

Chairman David Graveston, of the Lancashire branch of the National Farmers' Union (NFU), said the show was a "showcase for everything our countryside had to offer."

Mr Graveston, a dairy farmer in the Ribble Valley, said: "It is a disappointment, but the health and safety of all the visitors and the people involved in the show has to be paramount."

Dairy farmer Eddie Cowpe, who runs a farm in Samlesbury, near Preston, said that the local rural economy would feel the loss of the show, which regularly attracts 20,000 people a day.

He said: "It is a major event and a part of the rural calendar not just in Lancashire, right across the country."

Looking to next year, show organisers are hoping to see the three-day event moved permanently to land at Myerscough, near Preston.

>> Find out more about the Royal Lancashire Show (with video)

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