'Game on' - Dates set for Royal Norfolk Show's return in 2022
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Organisers of the Royal Norfolk Show have confirmed the dates for next year's post-lockdown comeback of the county's much-missed summer spectacular.
After two successive cancellations due to the Covid pandemic, the dates of June 29-30, 2022, were announced at the annual general meeting of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA).
The meeting heard that, despite the severe financial impact of the lockdown, there was optimism for the future of the showground and its flagship event.
A financial report shows incomes plunged by £2m in 2020, leaving an overall loss for the year of £702,851.
But this year, incomes had been boosted by the launch of new events such as the Summer Fayre, new commercial tenants at the showground, and a government grant of more than £500,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.
RNAA members were told that the figures up to July 2021 had prompted hopes that the organisation could break even this year.
Managing director Mark Nicholas said there was now a solid platform to bring back a "first-class, premium show" next June.
"It is 'game on' for the Royal Norfolk Show," he said.
"I think the cause of this optimism is that the county needs the Royal Norfolk Show to return.
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"We have all missed the social interaction but it is much more than that. It is the one place where you will see the whole of Norfolk come together for a fantastic celebration of everything that is great about the county we live in.
"That is great motivation for our new team, who are excited to be planning this event. The foundations are set and the detailed planning is under way."
Mr Nicholas acknowledged there were still challenges to overcome and told members it is "inevitable" the show's layout "might look a bit different".
He added: "There will be a fresh look to the show, and the changes will be about making it more efficient."
He also said a strategic vision for maximising the "longer-term commercial opportunities" from the Norfolk Showground was being developed, with more details to be revealed in the coming months.
Following a question from one of the RNAA members, Mr Nicholas said he hoped that the popular Spring Fling event would also return, although no detailed planning had yet begun.
The meeting also voted to re-elect the Marquess of Cholmondeley as president for 2022, after he missed the opportunity to preside over the cancelled 2020 and 2021 shows.