A win-win for Penrith

Date: Tuesday 4th June 2019

NEWS that the organisers of Penrith show and Kendal Calling have agreed a sponsorship arrangement will be music to the ears of those who have been caught up in traffic jams when the two major events have been held on the same weekend.

The deal means the show will be held a week earlier in its 185th year — and five days before the start of the music festival. These events are huge attractions in their own right, and holding them on the same weekend in July has resulted in traffic chaos on roads around Penrith, not least on the two major interchanges on the outskirts of the town.

Kendal Calling is now a “principal partner” of the show, which means it has offered a substantial sum in order that the committee could be persuaded to change the date of its traditional showcase for farming and the countryside in its locality.

It has resulted in a “win-win” for Penrith, however. According to Highways England figures, more than 30,000 vehicles a day use the Kemplay roundabout, prompting it to reveal radical plans to ease the congestion as part of its consultation on upgrading the A66, and the show date switch will help ease the pressure on one summer weekend at least.

And the cash injection means more attractions can be provided at the show, including more family-focused activities. After a couple of years of wet weather which impacted on income, the arrangement puts the event on a firmer financial footing, hopefully helping secure its future.

Meanwhile, Kendal Calling retains its place as Eden’s biggest summer hit, pulling in thousands and thousands of visitors. Their journey on the Saturday of the festival should now also be less stressful.