At the Annual Meeting of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) held on Friday 26th March, John Martin, Chairman of the Finance Committee stated that the year to 31st October 2020 has been one of the most turbulent years in the history of the Society, and this is reflected in the financial results presented today.
For the financial year, the Society has returned a deficit from ordinary activities of £983,959, which compares with the surplus of £992,534 in the previous year. During the period, the Society incurred a net cash outflow from operating activities of £608,979 compared to an outflow of £339,840 in the previous year.
The Covid-19 pandemic and associated periods of restrictions have resulted in the cancellation of charitable activities in line with the prevailing regulations. The Society has implemented a range of deficit recovery measures to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic. It also re-affirms the Society's decision to develop the King's Hall site to generate diverse and sustainable funding streams to support the core charitable activities of the Society, which remains the delivery of its agri-events.
The Society recognises its fundamental obligation to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, members, competitors, visitors, volunteers, trade exhibitors, sponsors, contractors and suppliers. The Society, in accordance with its charitable objectives, has confirmed its intention to run agricultural shows in future periods subject to the prevalence of the pandemic and associated restrictions at the time.
The Society is navigating through a very challenging period. Given the prevailing environment, there has been a considerable impact on the Society and its operations. However, Council is confident that with the efforts of its staff, committees, members, exhibitors and other stakeholders, the organisation can come through the crisis intact and in a position to continue its beneficial work in line with its charitable objectives.