Showground of the future

Driffield Agricultural Society is hoping to build a 21st century function and entertainment venue as part of a £400,000 project aimed at vastly improving facilities at the showground at Kelleythorpe.

The organisation has started raising funds to bankroll a £255,000 stage one project on the site of the current farmers’ market building to create a venue capable of seating upwards of 300 people.

This will be followed by large scale stage two investment involving the creation of a toilet and shower block for use throughout the year for activities, events and rallies.

Money is also needed for other general improvement and enhancement plans on the site.

Mr Dave Tite, Driffied show director, said in 2009 the society had formulated plans to build a large eco-friendly events centre but that scheme had fallen by the wayside following a global recession, a change in government and the loss of funding organisation Yorkshire Forward.

“The society has had to close the door on that chapter,” he explained. “It would be folly to continue chasing ever decreasing funding pots with constantly increasing restraints upon them, risking the future of the society for future generations.”

A strategic review was carried out by the society over many months and a new plan was formulated.

Mr Tite said: “Rather than start from scratch, it was decided to look at our current facilities.

“The farmers’ market hall was the obvious answer, built using contemporary materials in a good location on the perimeter of the showground.

“By adding three bays to the northern end of the hall and a lean-to at the eastern end, we could add a new toilet block, kitchen and storage area within the building, while still seating approximately 300 people for dinner and dance events in a new crisp, clean contemporary space, boasting a feature entrance and cloakrooms.”

Mr Tite said: “The cost is far more manageable than any project look at previously.

“There is every possibility that the society can raise the funds from within itself through.”

“A business plan that works on the theory that “it doesn’t rain on Driffield show day” is no longer valid, especially after two wet show periods and four months of flooding on site earlier this year.

“Now we need to develop a year round venue with first class facilities, to protect the society and to reduce the risk of financial damage due to our every changing climate.”.