NEXT year will the last time the Tamworth Show is held at the Tamworth Showground, with the annual festival moving to the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) in 2018.
The move follows the sale of the showground, with Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) passing ownership to Harness Racing NSW.
TPAA president Brett Nies said from 2018, the show would be held in September rather than March.
AELEC operations manager Mike Rowland said TPAA was an “integral part” of the facility’s design, so it was exciting to finally have the organisation in the fold.
“The intention from day one was that they would be a part of what was going to occur at that site,” Mr Rowland said.
This year’s Tamworth Showgirl winner Hilary Thornberry was “very excited” about the show’s move to the AELEC and hoped it would attract a new generation of showgoers.
“We think it will be a great platform for that exposure that we need to attract younger people, whether it be our livestock judging events or our arts and crafts, and certainly the Showgirl competition,” Ms Thornberry said.
“We hope to expand all of those areas. We’ve had 145 years of tradition, so we hope to bring all of those skills and the lessons we’ve learnt to the AELEC.
“It’s a new facility and we might have new events, but it’s still the same purpose and the same community spirit.”
Along with Harness Racing NSW, there were two other interested buyers – a consortium from Narrabri and a Sydney businessman with a background in industrial development.
Mr Nies remained tight lipped about the sale price, but said it would be revealed once the deal had been settled.
“It’s somewhere over $1,” he said. TPAA plan to invest the money, to do “more good in the community”.
“We have Relay For Life and other charitable events, and this puts us in a better position to do more in the community for the youth or aged,” Mr Nies said.
- See back page for future of Tamworth Harness Racing