£187,500 for a new building on Newbury Showground

Newbury Showground at Show timeNewbury & District Agricultural Society (NADAS) is charity with the aim of promoting agriculture, horticulture, forestry and rural crafts, and also with educating the public.

Best known for organising the Royal County of Berkshire Show (RCBS) which makes a significant contribution to these purposes, the Society also delivers an extensive education programme in schools throughout Berkshire, North Hampshire and South Oxfordshire, runs an annual ploughing match, a ‘junior countryside day’ and local farming competitions to promote best practice in the industry.

The Society owns and operates the Newbury Showground. This 150+ acre site is in a prime location at the junction of the A34 and M4 and is home to the Society’s offices. It has a network of internal roads but otherwise little by the way of permanent structure.

Showing cattle at Newbury ShowgroundThere has long been a desire to develop the infrastructure of the showground by erecting a permanent facility, primarily in which to show cattle over the weekend of the RCBS. Livestock are the centre of the show and in recent years over 500 head of cattle have been exhibited annually.

The new building will be 72m by 45m, steel framed and finished in Yorkshire cladding.  There will be a 9m apron of hardstanding around the building for ease of unloading. There will also be a lake which will both aid with drainage management of rainwater run-off from the building and enhance the educational facilities of the site.

The new display building will:

  • Offer better conditions to the key livestock exhibitors.
  • Enhance the quality of experience for the public.
  • Improve welfare for the animals and increase security, noting that some pedigree animals have considerable value.
  • Mitigate and reduce the threat to the Show from poor weather conditions.

One of the 500 cattle shown yearly at Newbury ShowgroundIn addition to this central role during the RCBS, it is envisaged that the building will be available for use by the Society year round for meetings and to support its education programmes. It will also create an additional income-generation stream through an enhanced facility for letting (within the constraints of planning conditions) in order to fund its own maintenance and running costs and further to support the charitable objectives.

The project includes an internal access road, which will extend the existing grid of roads on the Showground, ensuring efficient movement of vehicles off the highway and providing best possible access to the building for loading and unloading of livestock.