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#backtobusiness: Race on to save Shropshire County Show after flooding

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | backtobusiness | Published:

Organisers are facing a race against the clock to make sure Shropshire's landmark farming event goes ahead after the flooding disaster.

Flooding at West Mid Showground

Shropshire County Show has been going since 1875, and has only been absent during world wars and the foot and mouth crisis.

But if cash cannot be raised and work cannot be done in time to get the West Mid Showground ready, organisers may have to shelve the event which attracts tens of thousands of people to Shrewsbury in May. Every single building of the showground has been affected and it is believed that the cost of repairs will reach at least five figures.

Lance Jackson, chairman of Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society, said he and showground officials have been speaking to Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski to try to see what support can be made available, and that lots of businesses and individuals have thrown their support behind the effort to get the venue back to being event ready.

Lance Jackson. chairman of the Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural Society

He said: "It's all hands to the pump, quite literally. It's the worst flooding we've had for 20 years and it has been absolutely devastating for the showground. Myself and the other trustees had a meeting the other night and none of us have ever seen it like this before.

Focused

"We've started off a crowd funding page and that's taken off well. We've had a huge number of people offering to assist us."

He added: "I'm pretty sure we're going to get there. We're going to have a working weekend on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, when all the volunteers are going to come and help make a start on the clean-up. Hopefully after that we'll be able to be a bit more focused on what exactly needs to be done.

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"We are worried that there is damage to the main electricity supply which would be very expensive to repair. It would be our responsibility. We'd have to throw a lot of money at it, and we haven't really got it.

"We (the society) almost went bankrupt a few years ago. We've been on our way back up but now we've got this to deal with.

Flooding at West Mid Showground

"The first event at the showground is coming up pretty soon. The County Show is the last weekend in May.

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"I am confident we can get the showground ready, but it is going to take an awful lot of work. If we cannot get the showground ready, there isn't really an appropriate alternative venue to hold the show so it would probably have to be cancelled.

"There have been times when the show hasn't been able to run, like in the Second World War and the foot and mouth crisis."

To donate to the West Mid Showground's flooding relief campaign, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/shrewsburys-west-mid-showground-flooding-relief

The Shropshire Star has launched a #backtobusiness campaign to support the community following the floods. We want to use our platform to let people know when your business is back in action after the floods, how people can help, and to tell people about the customers and residents who have gone above and beyond to help.

#backtobusiness - how to take part

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Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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