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Saxonby WM Showground renovation 2

A Shropshire home builder has been appointed to lead the rejuvenation, profile raising and future development planning of the county’s West Mid Showground. 

Shrewsbury based Saxonby, in conjunction with the Shropshire & West Midland Agricultural Society (SWMAS), is starting its plan of action with an open invitation to local businesses and residents to work on a two-day Ground Force style makeover in April.

James Wood, director at Saxonby, said: “The West Mid Showground is a jewel in the Shropshire crown and at 138 years old one of the premier facilities of its kind in the country. Events such as the annual Shrewsbury Folk Festival are a positive boost to the local economy, so as an asset we feel the showground it is worth putting time and effort into developing. Our experience of running a successful company in a sector which has struggled in recent times, as well as being up against a general economic recession, provides us with the business acumen that help SWMAS move forward and secure more event and show bookings to a level of self-sustainability. However, partnerships and ownership are vital to its success and that’s why we want to share our passion with the people who live in Shrewsbury and the businesses based here, hence the makeover day. It is important to note that people who simply have a keen interest will make just as important a contribution as those with a skilled trade.”

Saxonby has always exercised its corporate social responsibility and Wood feels this is a way of introducing other businesses to the concept. In return, with exact details to be confirmed, those taking part will receive some valuable promotional opportunities. He continues: “Saxonby directors sit on a number of charity boards so we bring this skill and experience to SWMAS. It is very satisfying to make a difference through voluntary work and we relish the inevitable challenges ahead in developing the showground.”

Ian Bebbington, showground manager, at SWMAS, said: “We really need to get this fantastic and unique facility to achieve it’s full and proper potential, so James and the team at Saxonby, in partnership with other local businesses, will bring much needed skills and experience to help drive business at the showground forward. The makeover day is a fantastic start, which will enable us to present a welcoming and attractive proposition to potential customers.”

The makeover days at the West Mid Showground will be on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April. The work to be carried out has already been identified and people interested in offering their services as a skilled tradesperson or a member of the public volunteering can register at Saxonby’s Facebook page or telephone 01743 233539.

Picture: (left to right), Andrew Copson, director, Saxonby, Ian Bebbington, showground manager, James Wood, director, Saxonby and Maelor Owen, SWMAS trustee.