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Bilton Gala financial loss for 2016 puts future under scrutiny

The bad weather has been blamed for Bilton Gala in Harrogate failing to return a profit this year.

It was held on the grounds of Richard Taylor School, Harrogate on 2 May 2016

The layout of the stalls and show ring had to be changed at the last minute. This was due to saturated ground and further bad weather forecast on the day of the gala.

On the day there was a downpour at midday, but then remained fine. Many forecast though had predicted further bad weather in the afternoon.

This affected the number of people through the gates on the day and a knock-on of less many being taken by the attractions. The gala is run by only a group of 5, who work very hard to make the it happen. It makes money from charging for entry, charging for exhibitors stands and by taking a percentage of takings from the attractions.

Also, there have been additional costs, that may run into thousands for making good damage to the school playing fields. The Hill Top Grove entrance was particularly bad as the heavy fairground lorries exited. There have also been further invoices for road cleaning.

Alan Huddart from the Bilton Gala Committee said:

The losses can’t be quantified as yet as we know there are still more invoices to come.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to organise the Gala as everything we do must be risk-assessed, insured, compliant, communicated to the owners of the three fields that we use and there just seem to be more and more hoops to jump through each year.

And all of this falls to just 5 people who form the committee, and the army of helpers we get on the day, without whom the Gala could not go ahead.

The committee is now looking at the accounts for this year and, after they are finalised will decide what the future of the Gala may be.

There are still funds available to Bilton and Woodfield-based groups and organisations. They can still apply via the website but much this years efforts have gone towards repair bills rather than putting cash back into the community.

If you didn’t go this year, this is what you missed:

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