Almost 120 agricultural shows to benefit from €800,000 funding bonus

Almost 120 agricultural shows are set to benefit from a funding bonus of over €800,000, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, confirmed.

The €812,000 allocation by his department to agricultural shows represents an important investment in rural communities and the rural economy, the minister said.

Minister Ring was speaking earlier today (Friday, December 1), as he announced the once-off allocation of funding to support the agricultural shows from around the country which are due to take place in 2018.

Each show is due to receive up to €7,000 from the government, in an effort to support these “important rural community events”. This investment is being carried out in co-ordination with the Irish Shows Association; with all the recipients of the funding being members of that association.

This initiative represents a substantial investment in rural communities and in the rural economy by the government, according to Minister Ring.

I know that this funding will provide a huge boost to the agricultural shows that are such an integral part of our rural culture. They are a showcase for local communities and for all that is good about rural Ireland.

“I know that many shows have struggled in recent years as a result of adverse weather and increased costs.

“These shows have been a mainstay of the local summer and their absence has been keenly felt. I hope that this once-off funding will help prevent that situation recurring next year and will help these shows to get back on a sound footing.

“Smaller shows have particularly struggled in recent years. This funding recognises the particular pressures being faced by these smaller shows and will be a great boost to them.

“These shows contribute significantly to the local economies of towns and villages and their hinterlands across Ireland. They are only able to continue because of the commitment of local volunteers. I’m delighted, therefore, to be able to assist them in this way for 2018,” the minister said.

Which shows will benefit?

The department has outlined an indicative list of shows that stand to benefit from this funding, subject to them meeting the criteria for the scheme. Other shows affiliated to the Irish Shows Association may be added to the list at a later stage, the department explained.

Indicative list of shows that stand to benefit from this funding. Image source: Department of Rural and Community Development

During the announcement, Minister Ring emphasised the great variety of activities in local agricultural shows.

“There is literally something for everyone. It’s not all about livestock; there is entertainment, competitions, craft fairs, cookery and other demonstrations and competitions.

“These shows are a real celebration of local heritage. I’m delighted to be supporting this opportunity to celebrate and shine a spotlight on the best that local people and their communities have to offer the visitors from near and far,” he concluded.