Game off: CLA cancels loss-making countryside fair

The CLA Game Fair at Harewood House this summer
The CLA Game Fair at Harewood House this summer
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THE CLA Game Fair hosted at Harewood House in July will be the last, its organisers announced today.

The Country Land and Business Association said the next scheduled fair, at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire next year, would be cancelled.

The CLA Game Fair at Harewood House this summer

The CLA Game Fair at Harewood House this summer

The CLA said its board took the decision because the last three fairs had failed to generate enough income.

The Game Fair is Britain’s biggest celebration of countryside field sports. Around 150,000 people attended the Harewood event.

Video: Nigel Farage at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House

Director General Helen Woolley said: “The Game Fair is an important and well loved event with a long tradition. It is a difficult decision that we deeply regret having to take.

“We are extremely proud of the Game Fairs that we have put on in recent years and we are grateful to our Game Fair team that has delivered these high quality, professional, events.

“Unfortunately an increasingly crowded summer calendar of outdoor events has contributed to falling attendance in each of the last three years. This has led to the event failing to generate enough income and has made the event financially unsustainable.

“Over the last three years the Board made the decision to invest in the Game Fair because of our strong desire to turn the event around. We have been able to make this investment because of the otherwise robust financial position of the CLA. However we can no longer ask CLA members to allow their membership subscriptions to underwrite the losses the event makes.

“We are clear that the Game Fair can no longer be run by the CLA in its current form. We will, however, begin a period of consultation in which we will invite proposals from other organisations on how the Game Fair might be able to continue.”

“The CLA remains committed to providing industry-leading advice and support, running a busy schedule of other national and regional events and being an effective lobbying voice for rural business.”