Belfast Telegraph

Friday 4 September 2015

Balmoral Show: Big crowds may sway RUAS to add extra day in 2015

By Linda Stewart

Published 17/05/2014

Brian Weatherup competed in the Junior Novice showmanship U13 handling
Brian Weatherup competed in the Junior Novice showmanship U13 handling

More than 30,000 visitors descended on the Balmoral Show on Thursday alone, according to the organisers.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society says it is confident that when the final tally is added up, the show will have attracted more than 80,000 visitors in its second year at its new home at Balmoral Park.

Chief executive Colin McDonald says he also expects to see an increase in visitors from the Republic of Ireland when the numbers are tallied.

RUAS will now be weighing up the case for whether to add an extra day to the Balmoral Show, he said.

"The organisers are confident that more than 30,000 people were enjoying themselves at the show yesterday (Thursday) and today is shaping up to be a good day," he said.

"At the end of the show, we would expect more than 80,000 people to have visited. We will have to wait on the exit polls but it looks like we've had an increase in attendance from southern visitors – last year, perhaps people were not so confident that they could get here and get away again, but now they know where the showgrounds are."

The Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) said the move to the former Maze site had been the right one, even if there were still a few teething problems with traffic.

"With the roads network upgraded, people can come up the A1 and access here a lot easier than Belfast," UFU deputy president Barclay Bell said.

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