Around £20,000 worth of work is underway to improve the new out-of-town site for Todmorden Agricultural Show.
At the end of a disappointing year for show organisers Todmorden Agricultural Society in which it was forced into the late cancellation of its 2016 event, the investment is designed to make sure future shows are a success.
This year’s event was axed after 11th hour limits for vehicle weights and other restrictions were placed on the use of its then regular venue, Centre Vale Park in Todmorden, which has been home to the one-day West Yorkshire show for more than 100 years.
Those restrictions, which remain in place for the future, were enforced by the Calderdale Council because of flood alleviation drainage measures were reinstated to the site by the Environment Agency as part of the town’s flood defences.
But such is the impact of those restrictions that the Society’s management committee reluctantly moved the show about five miles outside of the town centre and, controversially, over the border to Lancashire.
The Society decided the move was the only way an event of the size and scope that the public have come to expect could continue to be staged in the vicinity of the town.
Next year’s show will instead take place on Saturday, June 17 on the new showground next to the Ram Inn in Burnley Road, Cliviger, and to prepare what is set to be the event’s home for some years to come, the Society is spending funds on upgrading the site.
Groundwork contractor Trevor Johnson has been commissioned to improve an access road, install gates, level part of the show field with some grass seeding to follow, and improve drainage capacity.
Show secretary Rob Goldthorpe said: “The Society believes it is a good investment in the event’s future. It will also bring benefits to those using the site during the rest of each year, for various events and for haymaking.
“We have the first few years for free while we are investing in improving the site, and after that there will be a profit sharing agreement with the site’s owner and tenant.”
The work at the showground is expected to be completed in the coming weeks before more adverse wintry weather sets in.