Claims the Cheshire Show could be forced to move from the Tabley showground in the future

By Belinda Ryan - Local Democracy Reporter

23rd May 2024 | Local News

The showground site is off Flittogate Lane, Tabley near Knutsford (Google)
The showground site is off Flittogate Lane, Tabley near Knutsford (Google)

The Cheshire Show could be forced to move from the Tabley showground in the future unless a premises licence is granted for other events during the year, organisers have said. 

This year's show will be held at Tabley showground on June 18 and 19 and promises to be a highlight of the social calendar attracting visitors from across the north west. 

But show director Rob Davenport told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) it costs £1.2m to stage the two-day event, which is why the Cheshire Agricultural Society (CAS) had applied for a premises licence to hold other events during the year. 

He was speaking after a concerned resident questioned why CAS had applied to Cheshire East Council for a premises licence for recorded music and alcohol until midnight every day Monday to Sunday and for films, live music and dance every day until 11pm. 

Mr Davenport told the LDRS: "It costs £1.2m to stage the two-day show and we can't make a living just cutting grass on it for the other 363 days of the year. 

'When you put a premises licence application in, people start to panic because they think you're going to have raves, but we're not. 

"At the end of the day if we don't get one [licence] we won't survive here and we'll move on." 

The resident, who contacted the press anonymously, said: "If this application is granted it will mean that Cheshire East will have little or no control over the types of events that are held on the site. 

"Also the people and villages in the vicinity will have no right to object to anything that is proposed." 

Mr Davenport told the LDRS the fact CAS had applied for a licence for 365 days of the year did not mean events would be held every day. 

He said having a premises licence would give him more control over events staged at the ground. 

"We rent it out now, a lot are on TENs (temporary events notice) licences," said Mr Davenport. 

"The problem with having a TENs licence is I don't have control over them." 

He said with a premises licence he could ensure midnight was the latest time, whereas if someone hired the ground and applied for a TENs licence, they may be granted one until 2am. 

"When I've got it [premises licence] I've got control over it," he said. "The reason we've got 365 days of the year is because people can look at renting a site any time in the year." 

Mr Davenport said the showground staged family Christmas events and other activities in the year where people might want to have entertainment and a bar, 'and that's why I've applied until midnight because I've got control of it then'. 

"I'm not here to upset the community, I'm here to make sure the show and the society stays here for years to come and it's there to carry on educating people about agriculture, farming and the rural way of life," he said. 

He added: "We've got to make the ground pay for the rest of the year. If we can't, we'll be gone and somebody else will have the site then." 


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