The RUAS decision to extend Balmoral Show out to a fourth day will run for an initial two-year period - 2017 and 2018 - according to the society’s chief executive Colin McDonald.
He also confirmed that the issue was decided upon by secret vote, not a show of hands, last Friday.
“I am not at liberty to give a breakdown of the actual voting results. All I can say is that a majority of our Council in members are in favour of making Balmoral Show a four-day event.”
But McDonald did say that he firmly believes in the principle of extending the show.
“And all of my staff are of like mind on this matter. What we now have is a directive from the Council of the RUAS to make the four-day format work. All of the committees within the organisation will be tasked with the challenge of making this a reality, while ensuring that the long term objective of securing a sustainable future for the society is achieved in full.”
McDonald said that making Saturday the additional day was the obvious choice.
“This will provide those people who cannot make the show earlier in the week with an opportunity to get along with their families, thereby allowing them to take in the sights and sounds of what is a very unique event.”
The RUAS representative made these comments in the wake of consumer research recently carried out by the Food Standards Agency, which confirms that half the people in the UK do not trust the food they eat.
“This makes a cast iron case for a vibrant Balmoral Show, which can attract the maximum number of people, from all walks of life, through its doors,” he added.
McDonald said he was aware of the considerable unease felt by livestock and trade exhibitors regarding the introduction of a fourth day into the Balmoral schedule.
“This will be one of the core issues addressed by the various show committees over the coming months,” he stressed.
McDonald went on to scotch rumours that he intends to retire from his current role next spring.
“This is not the case. I have given a firm commitment to RUAS Council members that I will remain in position, so as to ensure a smooth transition regarding the arrangements put in place for the new look Balmoral Show,” he added.