Kent County Show organiser steps down

Jams on sale at the Kent County Show
Jams on sale at the Kent County Show

by Trevor Sturgess

Kent County Show's chief organiser has left suddenly just four months before the 2010 event kicks off.

David Goff, general manager of the Kent Showground, Detling, for the past six years, was working on this summer's show right up to the time of his surprise departure which was said to be for personal reasons.

He was also closely involved in plans for a multi-million pound site redevelopment.

The £8m Kent Events Centre project aims to boost revenue for the Kent County Agricultural Society, the showground owner, by turning it into an all-year operation and protecting the future of the loss-making county show.

Last year's show lost £300,000 and attracted 81,000 visitors, fewer than in previous years.

Mr Goff, who previously studied and worked at Hadlow College, revealed he was considering a change of date to help revive numbers.

He listed six possible reasons for the lower attendance in 2009 - it coincided with the first weekend of the state school holiday, recession, poor weather forecast, the exciting Ashes Test Match on television, the Open Golf tournament on television, and a fear of catching swine flu in crowds.

Mr Goff played a crucial role in revamping the 2010 show which he pledged would restore farming to its heart and hoped would attract a bigger attendance.

George Jessel, KCAS chairman, said: "Mr Goff has left for personal reasons and the Society is very indebted to him for putting together six successful shows.

"We wish him all the best for the future."

KCAS has appointed headhunters to find a chief executive to replace Mr Goff and raise the job's status.

Mr Jessel said that KCAS members and officers would be finalising arrangements for the 2010 show.

"All the groundwork has been done," he said.

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