VIDEO: 2016 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, set for significant growth

Getting the countdown to the 2016 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, underway at the Ivory restaurant, Belfast this morning were Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank's Head of Northern Ireland, Colin McDonald, Chief Executive of the RUAS, and Cormac McKervey, Senior Agriculture Manager, Ulster Bank. They  announced this morning that the 2016 show is set to be 10 percent bigger and a major part of Northern Ireland's Year of Food & Drink.
Getting the countdown to the 2016 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, underway at the Ivory restaurant, Belfast this morning were Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank's Head of Northern Ireland, Colin McDonald, Chief Executive of the RUAS, and Cormac McKervey, Senior Agriculture Manager, Ulster Bank. They announced this morning that the 2016 show is set to be 10 percent bigger and a major part of Northern Ireland's Year of Food & Drink.

This year’s Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank is set to be 10 per cent bigger, and a major part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, it has been announced.

Getting the countdown to this year’s show underway this morning, RUAS and Ulster Bank said that 2016 will see the biggest and most important Balmoral Show to date.

Colin McDonald, RUAS Chief Executive, and Ulster Bank’s Head of Northern Ireland, Richard Donnan, were speaking at a breakfast event this morning at the Ivory restaurant in Victoria Square, Belfast during which a breakfast made from the produce of Ulster Bank clients was served to media, politicians and industry stakeholders.

They highlighted that the new multi-million pound Eikon Exhibition Centre will be a major attraction at this year’s show. The 6,000 sq m centre - the largest of its kind in Northern Ireland - will add a new dimension to the three-day event between 11th and 13th May.

The 2016 Year of Food & Drink will also feature prominently with the Food NI Pavilion likely to include upwards of 100 local food and drink companies promoting their products, among other attractions.

Colin McDonald, RUAS Chief Executive, said that a significant factor in the show becoming bigger and better is Ulster Bank’s continuing support – the bank has signed a three-year deal taking effect this year to be the principal sponsor until at least 2018.

“We are delighted to get the countdown to Balmoral Show 2016 underway today in partnership with Ulster Bank. The bank has supported our plans for Balmoral Park since their inception.”

Colin McDonald, RUAS Chief Executive

“We are delighted to get the countdown to Balmoral Show 2016 underway today in partnership with Ulster Bank. The bank has supported our plans for Balmoral Park since their inception. Their continued backing is a tremendous help as we realise the potential of the venue, with the new Eikon Exhibition Centre for example coming on-stream at the Show this year for the first time,” Mr McDonald commented.

“With the increased footprint, the new elements, and the fact that it is the Year of Food & Drink, the 2016 Balmoral Show truly is the biggest and most important yet. And we are very pleased that Ulster Bank has committed to the Show for the at least the next three years to assist us in further driving Balmoral Show forward,” he adds.

Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank’s Head of Northern Ireland, said: “We are one month into the 2016 Year of Food & Drink and just 90 days away from Balmoral Show, so food and drink is very much on the agenda. Being the principal sponsor of the Balmoral Show is a real demonstration of Ulster Bank’s commitment to the sector – we’re here to provide real and meaningful help for what matters to our customers. We remain fully supportive of the agri-food sector, from primary producers through to innovative food manufacturers, and we look forward to further showcasing that through our long-standing partnership with the Balmoral Show.”

Ulster Bank Senior Agriculture Manager, Cormac McKervey, says: “These are challenging times for many farmers, but the sector has proven itself to be resilient and its long-term prospects remain strong. We see our principal sponsorship of the Balmoral Show as a symbol of our commitment to supporting farmers through the good times and the more difficult times. We also think the current challenges the sector is facing underline the importance of Balmoral Show as a place for farmers to meet, share their experiences, and plan for the year ahead.”

Produce for the breakfast this morning at the Ivory in Victoria Square was supplied by:

* Crawfords of Maghera

* Punjana

* Finnebrogue

* McKee’s of Maghera

* Irwins

* The Meat Merchant

* Erin Grove preserves

* C&L Mushrooms

* Marlfield Farm

* Glenballyeamon Eggs

* Dale Farm

* The Ivory