Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced the appointment of Mr Aled Rhys Jones to undertake an independent external resilience review of NI Agricultural Shows Sector in Northern Ireland.
Making the announcement at this year's Balmoral Show, Minister Poots said: "It has been very heartening to see the agri-food sector bounce back from the last two years of the pandemic and everyone's enthusiasm to get back to business is very clear at this year's Balmoral Show.
"So today I'm very pleased to announce Mr Aled Rhys Jones has been appointed to lead a Resilience Review of NI Agricultural shows. Mr Jones has a wealth of experience and completed a similar exercise for the Welsh Government in the fightback against Covid.
"His independent review will identify and map out the challenges and opportunities for the shows' sector and aim to explore future support options and guide future policy. It will also identify new and innovative methods which could be utilised by local shows to help safeguard their future and bring forward recommendations for consideration by both the industry and government. This review will commence in the coming weeks and conclude late summer."
He continued: "I want to build on this week's Balmoral optimism and success across the NI agricultural show sector. These shows are key dates in our rural calendar and central points of the year for the agri-food industry and the farming community across Northern Ireland to promote their produce and build their businesses for the year ahead.
"I am also encouraged to see plans are well underway for the return of other local agricultural shows and to aid them in bouncing back from the Covid pandemic I announced a Pound 0.2million support scheme. I am pleased to confirm that applications for the Scheme have issued to show organisers and I would encourage them to return the requested information before the end of the month so officials can begin to process those as soon as possible to enable Letters of Offer to issue."