New facility at Newbury Showground is finally complete!
After years in planning, Newbury & District Agricultural Society’s brand new building at the Newbury Showground is finally complete in plenty of time for this year’s Royal County of Berkshire Show on the 17th and 18th September.
It was straight after last year’s successful Show that contractors moved onto site and the Society’s President for 2015, Sir John Madejski removed the first turf. Nine months later the building and its associated access road are finished and ready for use.
The building and related works represent an investment of over £1 million in keeping the county show in the top league of agricultural shows nationally.
The new 3,200 sq m building will be multi-functional but is primarily for housing cattle at the Royal County of Berkshire Show. Chief Executive of the Newbury & District Agricultural Society, Daren Bowyer, said “This building has been in the Society’s dreams and plans for a very long time so it is a very special day for us to see it reach completion. A building of this nature is an ideal environment for showing some of the country’s best cattle. It will give a real lift to the experience of our livestock exhibitors and their animals as well as to the visiting public, helping to keep agriculture at the heart of the Royal County of Berkshire Show and ensuring it remains one of the region’s best days out for the whole family.
The Show is a fantastic family day out with a wide variety of things to see and do. But it is important to keep food and farming at the forefront, so it is right that we have made this considerable investment.”
The new facilities will also increase the opportunity for NADAS to generate income through hire of the Showground. First users of the building will be IACF Antiques Fair. This income is important to the long-term viability of the showground and to the Society's charitable work.
The building will also have a key part to play in the Society's educational programme, which aims to help the next generation value the countryside and understand where food comes from. The current programme covers schools across Berkshire, South Oxfordshire and North Hampshire, but facilities on the Showground have been limited and at the mercy of the weather.
The project has been funded in part from the Society’s own funds and partly through a bank loan that will be repaid through increased lettings. But it would not have been possible without generous grants and donations. Greenham Common Trust agreed to match fund donations up to £187,500 - half of the amount needed to be raised. Donations from individuals, mainly members of the Agricultural Society, together with generous grants from The Sackler Trust, the Iliffe Family Charitable Trust and the Englefield Charitable Trust have brought the Society close to their target.
About the Newbury & District Agricultural Society
A not-for-profit organisation, the Newbury & District Agricultural Society was formed in 1909 to organise a show to replace the local horse show. Now a registered charity, the society’s key mission is to engage children in the countryside and boosting their appreciation of the vital role of the British Farming industry in food, stewardship of the countryside and everyday life.
The showcase for these aims is through one of the most successful agricultural shows in the country – The Royal County of Berkshire Show, which sees over 60,000 visitors come together to celebrate British agriculture.