Members of the RUAS will attend the organisation’s annual meeting on Friday of this week buoyed, no doubt, by the fact that the organisation has posted an encouraging set of financial figures for 2013.

The accounts for the 12 month ending 31 October last confirm a year-on-year increase in revenues of some £200k sterling, up from approximately £2.73m sterling in 2012 to almost £3m sterling last year. On the down side, expenditure incurred rose from £3.05m sterling in 2012 to £3.71m sterling last year.

This means that the effective operational loss incurred by the RUAS in 2013, which is a registered charity, rose by approximately £440k sterling to £755,595 sterling last year. The comparable figure for 2012 was £313,338 sterling.

Significantly, the amount of unrestricted funds that the RUAS has access to rose by almost £330 sterling during the year covered by the most recent set of accounts, up from £11,636,000 in 2012 to almost £12m sterling last year. In part, this was accounted for by revaluations of assets amounting to £953,563 sterling.

RUAS financial director Theresa Morrissey told AgriLand that the society incurred significant additional costs in 2013, linked to the hosting of the first Balmoral Show at its new home on the outskirts of Lisburn.

“These results are in line with the budgeted projections contained in our business plan. In fact our final figures confirm an operational loss that was somewhat smaller than that which had been initially projected.”

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, RUAS chief executive Colin McDonald indicated that an announcement regarding the proposed housing development project at the Balmoral site in Belfast can be expected within the next two months.

“Our priority is to move forward this particular aspect of the overall development work that will be undertaken at Balmoral. The redevelopment of the King’s Hall has by no means been forgotten about. However, we do not have an anchor tenant for the facility at the present time.

“The housing project at the King’s Hall Complex will generate the funds that will be used to carry out the required investment at Balmoral Park. This has been at the very core of our plan from day one.”

Commenting on last year’s inaugural Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park, Colin McDonald indicated the event had been a tremendous success.

“We want to build on this for the future,” he added.

“One possibility in this regard may well be the addition of a fourth day to the show, which would take it into a Saturday. However, no final decision has been taken on this matter, as yet.”

On the subject of the Winter Dairy Fair, the RUAS chief executive indicated there is no appetite to convert it into a two-day event. However that is a matter for the Show Dates Committee and it will decide such things having taken account of the many factors involved.