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Come and visit us at the Suffolk Show this year

A column by Councillor Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council.
Published: 30 May 2023
A blue graphic banner which reads 'Suffolk to the future' in bold, white letters with the Suffolk County Council logo on the left

I believe the Suffolk Show is the jewel in the crown of our county's event calendar. Every year tens of thousands of residents and visitors come to see the very best of Suffolk on display. Whether it's the agricultural side of the show, the entertainment and ringside displays, the incredible range and quality of the food and drink on offer or finding and buying something special from any of the hundreds of local craft stands, the Suffolk Show has something for everyone.

In line with our ambition to strengthen the local economy, I am pleased that Suffolk County Council is playing its part to support the show in several different ways. As normal, we will have our own marquee on Flower Avenue, with our theme being "Suffolk to the Future". We want to use this opportunity to listen and talk to residents about a range of issues that matter to them as the show represents the first of our Local Matters - We are Listening roadshows, which we will tour across Suffolk this summer.

We also want to celebrate some of the things we have achieved since we launched our ambitions for Suffolk in 2021, achievements including having our first Carbon Budget to sit alongside our financial one, investing £12.8m in decarbonisation of our buildings, or the extra £20m we’re investing into footpaths and drainage across Suffolk. We are not only celebrating achievements, but we also want to look forward and give a sense of some of the exciting things to come, like the new £1Bn highways contract which will start in October, our ongoing environmental commitment to protect and preserve Suffolk's unique environment, and the future of a digitally enabled social care sector - all will be featured inside our marquee.

Often the Suffolk Show is the one of the earliest core memories for people in Suffolk, so many people remember attending the show with their parents, or the first time they saw a horse or a cow up close. We want our tent to deliver those kinds of core memories for children and young people this year too, so we have designed our marquee to reflect this. I won’t give away all the surprises we have planned but let me just say that a certain Time Lord may be parking his TARDIS in our tent!

We will also be joined by the fabulous Geek Retreat from Ipswich, who will be bringing their usual fun and inclusiveness to our wellbeing area, where people of any age can get away from it all for a few minutes.

The Suffolk Show, at its heart, is an agricultural show with a focus on all things farming and husbandry. I am therefore excited that Suffolk County Council is also one of the sponsors for a new initiative called Farm4Future, which is being launched at this year' show. Farm4Future is designed to introduce visitors to the farming practices of the future and the role technological innovations and advances will play in delivering food to our tables. Through interactive displays, state-of-the-art machinery and equipment and practical demonstrations visitors of all ages will be introduced to the world of precision farming, machinery that is sympathetic to the environment and technologies that aim to optimise everyday practices on the fields around us.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service will also be at the show as they celebrate their 75 anniversary this year, with lots of information about fire safety and prevention on hand. Suffolk Archives and The Hold will be there celebrating the birth of Thomas Wolsey as part of the Thomas Wolsey 550 event, and the Suffolk Waste Partnership will be there as normal showing how people can recycle and live more sustainably.

If you are heading to the Suffolk Show this week please come and see us, we are at stand Blue 193 on the flower avenue.  I look forward to seeing you there.