The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) will shortly decide on whether or not Balmoral Show should be extended from its current three day format to four, according to the organisation’s chief executive Colin McDonald

“Nothing will happen in 2016,” he said.

“Last autumn we wrote out to all exhibitors seeking their views on the feasibility of transforming Balmoral Show into a four day event.

“If this proposal is approved, it would see the event ending on a Saturday, and not Friday, which is currently the case.”

McDonald said that the decision on the future format of the show will be made by the society’s Council members before the end of March.

“Prior to this the proposal will also be discussed informally by members attending our 2016 annual general meeting,” he said.

“This is scheduled for Friday, March 4.

If the Council vote is positive, this will pave the way for the changes taking effect in 2017.”

McDonald said that a very engaging response had been received from those exhibitors canvassed.

“I am not in a position to make any form of prediction on this matter.

“The Saturday may well attract more part time farmers and general consumers. So a lot depends on how this eventuality will go down with our agri exhibitors, who want to do business with full-time farmers.

“So, everything is still in the melting point. The full results of our exhibitor survey will be put before Council members in March. And this grouping will make the final decision.”

“We know already that not all of our current exhibitors are in favour of the extra day. At the end of the day it’s a question of balance.”

This year’s Balmoral Show will take place between Wednesday, May 11 and Friday, May 13.