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Call for more investment in site after Bingley Show cancelled
9:00am Saturday 14th July 2012 in Bradford
The chairman of Bradford district’s largest agricultural show said he would have “taken the risk” in putting on this year’s event if Bradford Council had better maintained the park where it was due to be held.
Leslie Gore, the head of Bingley Show, said future events may be put at risk unless the Council put in some investment for better drainage and levelling, after announcing the show’s cancellation for the first time in its history because of a water-logged Myrtle Park.
Mr Gore, the chairman of Airedale Agricultural Society, which organises the event, told the Telegraph & Argus: “This year we have been forced to call off the show but we have had similar predicaments over the years because of the condition of the bottom meadow at Myrtle Park.
“This has been the case not only for our show but for other events. We really do feel that it is about time that Bradford Council put in some provision in draining and levelling what is a very important area.”
Mr Gore said Bingley was being “badly short changed” by the Council which has spent more than £4 million on refurbishing Roberts Park in Saltaire and many hundreds of thousands of pounds on parks and recreation grounds across the Bradford district.
The Council is currently awaiting confirmation it has been successful in its £3.3million bid to the National Lottery for a major refurbishment of Cliffe Castle Park in Keighley.
Mr Gore said: “Bearing in mind they have spent millions in Roberts Park, Saltaire, and in other nearby villages, Bingley is getting badly short-changed.”
He is now calling for major investment in Myrtle Park to prevent a repeat of this year’s washout.
Mr Gore said: “While we are willing and enthusiastic, we cannot afford to have another occasion like this and we need some assurances. If the bottom meadow had been kept up to scratch, we would have taken the risk.”
This year’s cancelled event was set to include a Spitfire flypast and a pageant and re-enactment marking the 800th year anniversary of Bingley being granted its market charter.
Children from schools in Bingley were to join the pageant, with a town cryer announcing the market charter, which was then to be presented to the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith.
The flypast had been organised with the RAF Memorial Flight to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Gore said the number of trade stands had been up a third on previous years, along with exhibitors.
Bradford Council regeneration officer Paul North, the Airedale Masterplan manager, said: “Obviously it is very beneficial to Bingley that such a successful event as this is held annually and it is regrettable that cancellation has been necessary.
“The main priority for the organisers and ourselves has to be the safety of those participating in and attending the show.”