Agriscot and Winter Fair merger talks break down

Hopes that AgriScot and the Scottish Winter Fair, held in the same Edinburgh venue just a week apart, would unite to form a single showcase winter event for Scotland, appear to be in tatters.

George McFadzean, president of the Scottish National Fat Stock Club, which runs the Scottish Winter Fair, said he had received a letter from a representative of Rural Projects, the events company behind AgriScot, the tone of which he found very disappointing.

“We feel having one really strong event is the way forward, but it has been made absolutely clear to us that this is not on the table – in fact there is no will from AgriScot to even discuss the possibility,” said Mr McFadzean.

The two November events have been held on consecutive weeks at the Highland Hall, Ingliston, for the past three years.

“We have always been adamant that we would avoid confrontation and a slanging match in the press. However, there is a time for openness, and the feedback we are receiving from farmers and trade is that it makes no sense to continue to hold two events,” said Mr McFadzean.

AgriScot chairman Robin Young said the main issue was that of a lack of building space to accommodate the two events, with the November weather making expansion using marquees problematic.

“I saw the letter sent by Rural Projects and it did not say that the door was closed. The letter made it clear if circumstances change for either event discussions might be possible,” said Mr Young.

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