The future of Kenilworth Show could be under threat because of high-speed rail project HS2.
The popular agricultural show marked its 76th anniversary last weekend but organizers say a lack of clarity over the £56bn rail scheme is putting the event at risk.
The show is a favorite among locals and sees big crowds every year.
It boasts a full schedule of entertainment, livestock classes, clinics, a dog show and display.
But organisers say the Government’s highly controversial HS2 project could put an end to the event as it threatens Stoneleigh Park where the show takes place.
With 75 acres needed to put on the show, few other suitable alternatives are available, organisers say.
Charlie Weetman, director of the Kenilworth Show, said: “The difficulty that we are facing stems from a lack of foresight, planning and clear communication through HS2.
“We were initially told that we would need to move from our existing site further down the road towards Leamington.
“I then received a call in December informing us that the new site would not be accessible due to work on HS2 tree planting.
“We are constantly having to change our plans as theirs keep changing and it’s causing issues all over the county.
“The lack of clarity in communication from HS2 is making it difficult to plan for our future shows.
“We need over 75 acres, there is a lack of suitable sites available locally, and we need to plan 18 months in advance to ensure we can secure main ring events.
“The truth of it is that we don’t really know what will happen next year due to HS2.
“There is a risk that the Kenilworth Show will not be able to run but we are working tirelessly to secure a site for 2020.”
An HS2 spokesperson said: “We have been talking to the owners of Stoneleigh Park since the HS2 route was finalised. We meet with them regularly to enable them to plan future events during the construction of the railway.
“We understand that Stoneleigh Park will continue to host a series of successful and significant events over the coming months. Any decision to close or move a show is made by the promoter and not by HS2.
“We remain committed to supporting local business and communities who are fundamental to the delivery of HS2, which will eventually provide vital new rail capacity and support thousands of new jobs across the country.”
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