Other priorities within DAERA will be allocated funding before a new support fund can be set up for local agricultural shows, Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir has said.

In June 2023, an independent review, which was commissioned by DAERA, recommended that the department should set up a two-tier funding model for local shows in NI.

It would have an annual cost of up to £190,000 if £5,000 was made available for each event to cover running costs and a further £100,000 was put up for an “innovation fund”.

In response to a written question from DUP MLA Stephen Dunne, Minister Muir said the recommendations from the review will require an economic impact assessment. He said the proposals for funding agricultural shows will need to demonstrate “feasibility, regularity, propriety, and value for money”.

With a budget for 2024/2025 now agreed by the NI Executive, officials within DAERA’s finance division are currently preparing a range of policy proposals for Minister Muir’s consideration.

“Any proposals will take account of DAERA’s statutory obligations and contractual commitments prior to consideration of discretionary expenditure, such as support for agricultural shows,” the Alliance MLA said.