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Suffolk Show pumps £4m into local economy

PUBLISHED: 09:32 29 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:49 06 July 2010

This year's Suffolk Show has pumped more than £4m into the local economy, organisers said last night. Around 85,000 visitors flocked through the gates of Trinity Park in Ipswich over the last two days, and the event has been hailed a major success.

This year's Suffolk Show has pumped more than £4m into the local economy, organisers said last night.

Around 85,000 visitors flocked through the gates of Trinity Park in Ipswich over the last two days, and the event has been hailed a major success - defying the gloomy economic climate.

Director Peter Over said it would bring between £4m and £4.5m to the county's economy.

"We have had a wonderful show," he said last night. "The crowds have been fantastic and it's so good to see that in these difficult times that people have supported us and come to the show to put a smile back on their faces.

"It's very gratifying for us because we work hard to put on a quality show and I think the people of Suffolk have responded. That's what people want - if they have to spend their hard earned money then they want quality.

"It can be tricky because we have to be true to our farming roots and remember our traditions and heritage. But at the same time we have to balance that with exhibitions and activities to give it a broad appeal that will involve everybody. Judging by this year I think we are not far wrong."

Mr Over said the Suffolk Show had become a "beacon" of all that was great about the county.

"It is a celebration of Suffolk life," he said. "People appreciate that we are fortunate to live in this wonderful county and to be honest I don't think we shout about it enough.

"We have the best farms, the best produce, the best traders and the best people. It is a fantastic showcase for all that is great about the county."

The displays and exhibitions continued yesterday with independent artists and craftsmen showing off their talents alongside sellers of vast agricultural machinery, while elsewhere local restaurants, colleges and entertainers were busy wowing the crowds.

And with exhilarating displays from daring stunt motorcyclists and the Jive Pony riders along with a range of traditional and rare-breed livestock on show, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Lisa Mayhew, from Ipswich, was with her ten-year-old daughter Megan, eight-year-old son Joshua, and her mother Evelyn Gerard.

"We have been coming for years and years and years," she said. "There is lots for the children to do and it is a lovely day out."

"I particularly like the food hall and we are now going to see the moto-cross stunt riders, which I know Joshua is looking forward to."

Elske Jenkins, from Framlingham, who was with her ten-year-old children Krystal and Tristan, said: "We just love looking at all the animals. That's probably what we most enjoy.

"There are so many different activities - the flower show is very good. All these bits and pieces. The brass band and the giant rabbits have also been a favourite. There is so much to keep us interested."

Neil Watts, headteacher at Northgate High School, was accompanied by his wife, Sadie, and their son, Robert.

He said: "There is such a variety of Suffolk life. We meet old friends and there are a lot of things to buy. We have been coming for 25 or 30 years - it is just a really special couple of days."

Bella Tew, 20, from Bury St Edmunds, said she had been coming since she was young and that it was a great family day out.

"There are lots of things to see and do," she said. "The flower show is very good this year and the helicopter landing was great as well."

Despite the success of this year's show Mr Over said the organisers would not be resting on their laurels.

He said bosses would be meeting this morning to discuss plans for 2010.

"We have got some ideas on how we want to improve next year," he said. "We would like to modernise the food hall for example. Food is obviously directly related to agriculture and its important that we remember our roots."

Mr Over said he would like to thank everyone who turned out for this year's show, the 350 volunteer stewards that make it all possible and the businesses that offer it their support.

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