Driffield Town Council has voted to support the Driffield Agricultural Society’s efforts to raise funds for a new building at the showground, amid concerns that the project will take business away from the town itself.
The Society is hoping to build a 21st century function and entertainment venue as part of a £400,000 project aimed at vastly improving facilities at the showground at Kelleythorpe.
The organisation has started raising funds for a £255,000 stage one project on the site of the current farmers’ market building to create a venue capable of seating upwards of 300 people. This will be followed by large scale stage two investment of a toilet and shower block.
The society asked the town council for a letter of support to show potential funding sources that the authority was in favour of the project and, although councillors agreed to send the letter, concerns were raised by Coun Tony Cooper.
“I will not be able to support this proposal,“ he said. “If you can recall when we were discussing opening Cass Hall we said at the time that there was a proposal to build a new complex on the showground using straw bales.
“We said at the time as a town council that any complex down there could take trade away from various outlets in the town which supplied meeting rooms for conferences and meetings for voluntary organisations.
“I cannot see this latest proposal being anything other than that.”
Coun Cooper added: “So, I would stick to what was said at the time by the town council of the day two to three years ago that it is going to be taking work from the town to the showground which, let’s face it, is in Kirkburn parish.”
Coun Phil Stocker said: “I would not regard the new complex as a big problem to us competition wise because the size of the new building does not give much more room.”
Coun Matt Rogers; “We do need to support the showground. The society is as much a part of Driffield as anything else is.”