Royal Welsh will cut costs and increase income, says chairman

20 December 2013

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society will build on its traditions but will look to exploit opportunity, cut out waste and increase profitability, the chairman of the board, John Davies, told members of the society’s Council at Builth Wells.

In a speech outlining the future direction of the society under a new management team, Mr Davies said that creating a strong fiscal platform was an essential part of the business plan.

Progress was being made with the society’s budgetary controls and cost management plan which demonstrated the real cost of staging the society’s iconic events.  For example it cost £420,000 a year to provide free car parking for people attending the show, a fact few realised before the production of this year’s budget.

The cost reduction plan focused on the ‘big ticket items’ where opportunities for achieving the greatest savings existed such as electricity and water which cost in excess of £200,000 a year.

Until now the society had not invested in renewable technologies but as part of an ‘invest to save’ plan a 150kw solar PV system, estimated to save the society over £26,000 a year, was being installed on the roof of the Food Hall on the showground, said Mr Davies. Water was the next big project.  Washing down livestock buildings with thousands of gallons of drinking water could not be justified.

“Our drive to reduce costs is matched by our ambition to increase income,” said Mr Davies.  “We are looking for opportunities continually to develop and improve our events.  The opening of the underpass allowing increased numbers of trade stands at the Winter Fair is a good example of what can be achieved.  This realised over £8,000 in additional income for the society and proves what can be done with energy and commitment.”

Referring to the 50th Royal Welsh show on the permanent site at Llanelwedd in July, Mr Davies said the record attendance of 241,781 was a staggering number.  The recent Winter Fair also produced a record attendance of 29,374 making this year’s event one of the best in its 24 year history.

The society was able to celebrate another success.  Despite the rise in fees membership reached 20,000, proof if it were needed that membership of the society still represented real value for money