Taunton Flower Show organisers have announced that, following negotiations with Taunton Deane Borough Council, the oldest, longest-running event of its kind will remain in Vivary Park, its historic home, for the foreseeable future.
Show Chairman, Adrian Prior-Sankey, explained the decision to show members at their annual meeting, saying,
‘Following further negotiations with Taunton Deane Borough Council, the Directors have stated their intent to hold the Show at Vivary Park for the foreseeable future. This reassurance comes with a health warning as the Council were not able to issue any guarantees that the formula for calculating the charge imposed by the Council in 2017 will be maintained from year to year. It is regrettable that a measure of uncertainty remains, but the proposed merger of Taunton Deane Borough Council with West Somerset Council means that in a few years’ time we will be dealing with a new landlord. We will need to keep the situation under review but can state with confidence that the show will take place in the park in 2018 and 2019.’
One significant consequence of the Council’s charge is an increase in the ticket price on both days of the Show. This news was shared by the Vice Chairman, Nigel Handbury, who explained,
‘Despite our best efforts to attract more sponsorship to offset the increase in our overall costs and the very good attendances at last year’s event, we have had no option but to pass on the council’s charge to our visitors and traders. The good news for loyal visitors is that ticket prices will be discounted in the coming months. This means that a ticket for Saturday costing £13 will be available for the discounted price of £10 in advance. Young people under 18 will still be admitted free. The online ticket office will be available soon.’
One lesser-known way to enjoy the delights of the event for free is to volunteer as a steward for a minimum of four hours’ work over the two days. Organisers are currently seeking one or more extra keen enthusiasts to help coordinate these volunteers and will be pleased to hear from anyone interested in doing their bit to ensure the ongoing success of this jewel in Taunton’s cultural crown.
Full details of the 2018 show including ticket offers and volunteering opportunities can be found online at www.tauntonfs.co.uk