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Work starts on showground after delay of over two years

From left, George Walker, William Davis project manager, and Tom Kitchener, William Davis assistant quantity surveyor, checking progress on site at Airfield Business Park in Harborough.

From left, George Walker, William Davis project manager, and Tom Kitchener, William Davis assistant quantity surveyor, checking progress on site at Airfield Business Park in Harborough.

Work has started on an agricultural showground which could be a flagship centre for the County Show, attracting crowds of up to 30,000 people a year.

Developers and contractors William Davis Ltd started workon an 85-acre plot of land formally known as Airfield Farm, and adjacent to Harborough Innovation Centre and William Davis’ Airfield Business Park, earlier this month.

It was designated as an agricultural showground at the north-east entrance of Harborough as part of planning application obligations.

But red-tape wrangling over public rights of way held up the plan.

It was initially meant to be completed during the winter of 2011.

The site will have office facilities, a full-sized show arena and large parking area.

William Davis land and technical director Adrian McInnes said: “The showground has been part of confirmed local authority policy for some time and now all the issues relating to access have been resolved, it is justifiably being welcomed in many quarters.”

The firm’s project manager George Walker said: “This is a large and somewhat unusual project and one we are very much looking forward to bringing to fruition.

“We have commenced on the infrastructure, including drainage, two access roads and three kilometres of fencing and the office building.”

The Leicestershire Agricultural Society, which runs the annual County Show, has expressed interest in managing the site and William Davis is waiting to receive its proposal to take things further.

Mr McInnes added: “The completed showground will certainly be a landmark and the envy of many who would benefit from a similar facility in their own county.

“We hope it will bring additional revenue to retail outlets, hotels and other facilities.”

Completion of the project is scheduled for spring 2014.

 

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