New safety measures for Royal Welsh Show after James Corfield tragedy

By Sue Austin | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A number of safety and welfare improvements will be introduced in and around Builth Wells in time for this year’s Royal Welsh Show following the death of a young farmer last year.

James Corfield

James Corfield, 19, from Montgomery in Powys, went missing from the showground in Builth Wells during last July's event. His body was later recovered from the River Wye. An inquest found that he died due to an accident.

Fencing, a new footpath and welfare measures are being introduced ahead of this year's show. The improvements have been recommended by an event safety action group which was established following the tragedy.

Key organisations, including Powys County Council, all emergency services, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, event organisers, local councillors and volunteers, have been working together to improve the safety and welfare of people attending the area during the Royal Welsh Show week.

Initial work involved a safety workshop at the showground, supported by the Corfield family, where four crucial areas, licensing, transport, health and welfare and Infrastructure, were identified for improvement before this year’s event in July.

The additional features include a new ‘Green Route’ path from the Builth Wells town to the Royal Welsh Showground, Penmaenau Farm and campsite and the YFC Young People’s Village.

Welfare facility

A new welfare facility in the town based at the former tourist information centre will be staffed by members of Powys County Council youth service while Street Pastors will be introduced in the town in the run up to the show week and through the four days of the event.

There will also be increased medical provision in the area as well as a new safety fence between The Groe and the river.


Plans also include improved traffic and taxi arrangements, increased public toilet provision, improved lighting and new public information material for visitors, along with increased security and improved CCTV coverage in the town.

Powys County Council leader, Councillor Rosemarie Harris, said; “It was important that following last year’s tragic accident, that we work together combining our experience and knowledge to improve the safety and welfare of people visiting the area for the Royal Welsh Show.

“The show is such an important event, not just for Powys but for Wales, that we must do all that we can to make a positive contribution to managing safety and add to the visitor experience of those attending one of the country’s most important events.

“The review has reached an important stage with significant actions that we believe will make the event and surrounding activities even safer. We have all learnt from last year’s tragic accident and our aim is to do our very best together to keep young people safe.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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