An independent review of the NI agricultural shows sector is to be undertaken by the former assistant chief of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Aled Rhys Jones.

Making the announcement at Balmoral Show, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said the review will identify the challenges and opportunities faced by the sector, explore support options and identify new methods that could be used to safeguard the future of local shows. The review is to be completed by the end of this summer.

In 2021, Aled Rhys Jones completed a similar review for the Welsh Government, making a number of recommendations including around the promotion of agricultural shows, and for financial help to be offered to help the sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support package

Back in March Minister Poots announced a £200,000 support package for local shows, which will allow each show to claim up to a maximum of £10,000 to help cover new or increased costs in 2022.

“Applications for the scheme have issued to show organisers and I would encourage them to return the requested information before the end of the month so officials can begin to process those as soon as possible to enable letters of offer to issue,” said Minister Poots.

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