Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Ulster Bank backs Balmoral Show move to the Maze

RUAS chief executive, Colin McDonald
RUAS chief executive, Colin McDonald

The Balmoral Show has received a major financial boost as it prepares for its big move to the Maze.

Show organisers Royal Ulster Agricultural Society have announced that the Ulster Bank is to be the principal sponsor of Ireland’s biggest agricultural show at its new home in Balmoral Park. It will now be the only banking sponsor of the show, as part of the new deal.

The show will be held at the new venue for the first time from May 15 to 17 after RUAS won planning permission to develop the new site and move the show from its traditional home at Balmoral Showgrounds in south Belfast.

RUAS chief executive Colin McDonald said the agreement with Ulster Bank is a big boost for the show and the agri-food sector.

He said the support is “extremely helpful as we seek to continue to promote Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector, and shows us the confidence that Ulster Bank has in the success of Balmoral Show at its new home”.

He added: “We look forward to welcoming everyone to the event in May as the Balmoral Show takes this historic step.”

Ian Jordan, corporate banking division director with Ulster Bank, said: “The show has gone from strength to strength in the last five years and this year will see this important and very exciting move to the new site. We are delighted to be principal sponsor.”

Earlier this month, Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced that planning permission had been granted to develop the new site at Balmoral Park on the former Maze Prison site.

The proposal is seen as the catalyst for the redevelopment of the site by the recently appointed Maze/ Long Kesh Development Corporation.

The application proposed to redevelop part of the site to create an international standard showground facility featuring a main arena, equine and livestock show-rings, entrance canopy, associated landscaping and ancillary infrastructure. No objections to the plans have been received by the department.

Mr Attwood said that with effective traffic management around events by the owners, disruption should be kept to a minimum. Further information about the 2012 Balmoral Show is available from: www.balmoralshow.co.uk.

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