FOLLOWING Prime Minster Boris Johnson outlining his COVID-19 roadmap to recovery, the Game Fair has been given the green light to run on its planned dates of 23rd, 24th and 25th July 2021 at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

“Having been in continuous talks with the local authority and Public Health England, we were already very confident, but a public statement such as this is incredibly important,” said James Gower, managing director of the Game Fair.

“Exhibitors and visitors have shown their optimism too as trade stand and tickets sales accelerated immediately following the BBC’s live press briefing, which confirmed the news that had been earlier announced in Parliament.”

Rob Fenwick, managing director of gunmaker E.J. Churchill, commented: “I am thrilled with the announcement from the government and the road map that means that The Game Fair will be going ahead. What an exciting event to look forward to for all the countryside. E.J. Churchill will be in full support and larger than ever, we can’t wait to see you all there and let’s make it the best yet!”

Many events have not survived and some who are governed by delicate charitable or societal structures simply couldn’t take the risk to run this year and took early decisions to close. Organisers said that, as a result, the Game Fair will be more important than ever in assisting recovery for many exhibiting companies – some who solely trade on the show circuit.

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According to the Bank of England, households that typically attend the Game Fair have seen a dramatic increase in their savings and consumer spending from these groups will be an important part of economic recovery.

Spending at the event is likely to be very high and exhibitors are encouraged to make sure they have healthy stock levels, organisers said.

Commenting on the importance of events to stimulate trade, Freya Simms, CEO of LAPADA, the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, said: “LAPADA members are used to making most of their sales at fairs and events and, with the onset of COVID-19, this has been impossible. The Game Fair, as an outdoor event and at the height of summer, is excellently placed to go ahead and I am sure will prove to be a must-visit event this year.”

British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) CEO Ian Bell added: “The Game Fair has never been more important for our members and for trade as a place to socialise, learn, do business and of course shop! There is no doubt that this virus has affected every one of us but now it is time to focus on recovery and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a significant celebration at Ragley Hall this July.”

Writing in Gun Trade News, Simon West, CEO of the Gun Trade Association, said: “We as a trade need to be ready to support all [those] events – national and local – as soon as the opportunities appear.”

Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP said: “I love the Game Fair. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends and contacts, to be able to go round all the guns stands and the dog stands and have a little bit of a go at the clays. 

“I just find it a wonderful day out and I hope we’re going to be able to get back to normal and operate it in a normal way.”

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