Lincolnshire Show: Tax row threat to agricultural event

Lincolnshire Show
Image caption The Lincolnshire Agricultural Society says visitors to the Lincolnshire Show could be charged more if it loses its charitable status

Organisers of one of the best known agricultural shows in the UK say they could be forced to hike prices and scale back events due to a tax row.

The Lincolnshire Show is run by the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society (LAS) which qualifies for tax relief due to its charitable status.

But West Lindsey District Council is taking court action to end the benefit.

Jane Hiles, LAS chairman, said the society stood to lose more than £70,000 a year if the action was successful.

She also said some of the show's events could be scaled back, causing a "domino effect" on local businesses.

"This has been a really difficult time for us. All of the work that the LAS carries out is for the good of the county and its people and, therefore, we strongly believe we should receive a charitable rate relief."

Image caption It also says the event could be scaled back in the future

The LAS, which was set up in 1869, describes itself as a not-for-profit charitable organisation which aims to educate people about food, farming and a sustainable environment.

But it also runs non-charitable events at the showground near Lincoln, including large-scale music events.

Image caption The annual event - held in June - attracts around 60,000 visitors over two days

Ms Hiles added: "Hosting such a large event as the Lincolnshire Show and maintaining the showground's 243-acre site costs money and the only way we can uphold such important charitable work is by generating income outside of charity events."

A spokesperson for West Lindsey District Council said: "As this is an ongoing court case, we cannot comment at this time."

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