There are many things great about Yorkshire – Yorkshire Tea, Yorkshire Pudding, the Moors, the Dales, the Wolds, the coast, the list is literally endless. Being unashamedly passionate about country life and all things related – and being a Yorkshire-based business – one of our favourite events is, of course, the Great Yorkshire Show.
I know you know what the Great Yorkshire Show is all about but, for the uninitiated, the event is a showcase for the best of British farming and is England’s premier agricultural show. Held over three days from July 12 to July 14, this year will see an estimated 130,000 visitors descend on Harrogate for the 158th time.
Underpinning all the classes (on average attracting 13,000 entries), food theatre, demonstrations, stands and stalls, is the beating heart of the show – farming. And it is only right to have a few days where we celebrate the significant contribution Yorkshire makes to the UK’s rural economy.
According to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), there are 54,000 rural businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber employing more than 400,000 people. These businesses are responsible for injecting £17bn GVA (gross value added) into the economy of England. To put that into context, that £17bn is 17% of Yorkshire and Humber’s £101bn GVA total. The rural economy in England is pegged at £229bn GVA, with Yorkshire and Humber’s £17bn accounting for 7.5% of that.
It is a huge figure and one that everyone living and working in the countryside should be very proud of.
But beyond from the significant economic contribution, rural businesses do so much to give the region it’s unique qualities and heritage. The rural economy is literally part of the Yorkshire landscape, from the sheep-filled craggy Dales and heather moorlands, to the great arable fields of the Wolds. We have, without doubt, some of the most spectacular scenery of anywhere in the world, and we have agriculture to thank for that.
We are proud to be a Yorkshire business and we are proud to be a rural business. And we can’t wait to see what is in store at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show – we’ve covered it for years as journalists and are excited to be returning as a rural business. See you there.