The Duchy of Lancaster is moving forward with its master-plan for redevelopment of a 220-acre site at which forms part of the Duchy's Myerscough Estate. Final proposals for the new Duke of Lancaster Park are expected to be the subject of widespread consultation later this summer, in advance of a formal planning application in early 2008.
Commenting on the RLAS decision, Paul Clarke, CEO of the Duchy of Lancaster said: "We are delighted that the RLAS has chosen to move to our proposed new showground at Duke of Lancaster Park. We are currently preparing proposals which we believe will enhance the area for generations to come and, as part of that vision, wanted to offer the UK's oldest agricultural society a new home worthy of its history and reputation."
RLAS Chair Gordon Roberts believes this could be the first step towards a long-term solution for the Show: "Whilst RLAS has held successful shows at Salesbury over recent years and are grateful for the support of Colin Mustoe at a critical time in the Society's history, both Colin Mustoe and the Society recognise the benefits of a permanent, purpose-built home for the Show. With ever-increasing numbers of exhibitors and visitors, it is important that the Show continues to grow and keep pace with demand. We believe that the proposed Duke of Lancaster Park could provide us with that long-term future and room for further growth."
Leader of the Council, Russell Forsyth welcomed the RLAS decision which, he believes, could act as a catalyst for further investment in the area: "While these proposals are of course subject to planning approval, the concept of a new state-of-the-art showground in the Borough is hugely welcome. It could significantly boost our tourist traffic, while also generating welcome employment opportunities. Overall, we are very pleased to be able to offer this prestigious agricultural show an opportunity to relocate to one of the finest development sites currently available in the region."
Details of the proposed masterplan are unlikely to be unveiled until late summer, though all parties are hopeful that community consultation will begin before the autumn. "This consultation process will be extensive," adds Paul Clarke, "and we will be working very closely with RLAS and Wyre Borough Council to canvass local opinion and incorporate the feedback we get from the local community in our formal planning application."
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