Business as usual for the East of England Arena after Showground development deal

The new partner for the East of England Agricultural Society has promised it will be business as usual for the Peterborough-based Arena and Events Centre.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 5:00 am
Aerial view of East of England Showground, Peterborough 2AP1K75

The pledge has been made by bosses of the Asset Earning Power Group (AEPG), based in Guildford, who have just bought the event catering business, East of England Showground Services, from the Society.

It is part of a land promotion agreement between the Society and AEPG, which will see development plans drawn up for the 165 acre East of England Showground, which is still owned by the Society.

The proposals will include housing and leisure facilities in a move that could create more than 400 jobs.

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A spokesperson for AEPG said: “We can confirm it will be business as usual for the Arena for several years.

“But the Arena will benefit from new investment and a future plan to develop it further.”

Documents filed at Companies House show that Showground Services made a profit after tax of £306,209 for the year to the end of 2019 - down from £319,187 the previous year.

The statements show the same amount was paid as a charitable donation as a deed of covenant to the Agricultural Society.

Turnover fell from £3,358,327 in 2018 to £3,272,476 in 2019. The number of staff also fell from 21 to 17.

The Society says the Showground is no longer essential to its future and the partnership will allow it to focus on its core charitable activities of promoting agriculture, education, and rural life.

The Showground was the venue for an annual three day agricultural show that brought in thousands of visitors.

But the show has not been held for nine years.

Alistair Beattie, interim CEO chief executive of the Society, said: “The Society is delighted to support the continued operation of the East of England Arena as a centre for events in the city and the region.

“We are excited by AEPG’s proposals for new leisure facilities on the site.”

Ashley Butterfield, chief executive of AEPG, said: “We plan to create a considered development with leading-edge leisure facilities for the local community as well as the wider public.

“Our team are preparing a master plan for a new type of housing development that will combine

a unique lifestyle with aspirational homes set within a beautiful, landscaped environment.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Peterborough City Council in the spring.

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