Countryside festival in Hatfield set to give county '£30m economic boost'

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. The festival of the British countryside returns to the Hertfordshire stately home from July 26 to July 28

The Game Fair 2017 at Hatfield House. The festival of the British countryside returns to the Hertfordshire stately home from July 26 to July 28

Supplied by The Game Fair

A festival of the British countryside returning to Hatfield this week is set provide the region's economy with a £30million boost.

The Game Fair 2019 at Hatfield House.The Game Fair 2019 at Hatfield House.

The Game Fair 2019 will take place at Hatfield House from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, July 28.

It will be the second time the annual event has taken over the historic Hertfordshire estate.

Politicians and businesses have welcomed the potential £30million economic boost that The Game Fair will provide to the county.

Accommodation providers and other local businesses in the surrounding area are set to benefit from the arrival of more than 120,000 visitors for the three-day annual festival of the great British countryside.

The Game Fair's managing director James Gower.The Game Fair's managing director James Gower.

Exhibitors, sponsors and staff will swell the numbers further, while 4,000 people will be on site for four days before The Game Fair begins during the final construction phase, many of them using local restaurants and shops.

Around 116,000 visitors and nearly 1,000 businesses attended The Game Fair when it was last held at Hatfield House in 2017.

The festival was held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire last summer.

Independent research carried out by Zing Insights found that the three-day event generated around £30m for the regional economy, with £2million of that spent on accommodation in the area.

James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, said: "We have more exhibitors again this year, many of them coming for the first time.

"Over the last three years our visitor numbers have gone up 10 per cent every year, so we expect this year's festival to be bigger than ever before, especially with new attractions like The Game Fair Gardens sponsored by Charles Stanley.

"The economic impact that The Game Fair will have on Hertfordshire this year, and again when the event returns in 2021, is enormous."

Accommodation providers in the region have reported that there are very few vacancies remaining over The Game Fair weekend this year.

Rooms at Hatfield Central Travelodge and Premier Inn Hatfield have been sold out for months.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps said: "I am delighted that The Game Fair is returning to Hatfield House for the second time.

"Given that the 2017 event generated nearly £30million for the regional and wider economy, the boost it will give to Hatfield and Hertfordshire this year is extremely welcome."

Hatfield mayor, councillor Linda Mendez, enjoyed visiting The Game Fair with her grandchildren two years ago.

She added: "It is exciting to know that The Game Fair is coming back to Hatfield House. It is a huge annual event.

"With so many people expected to attend this year, it will provide our local economy in Hatfield with a welcome boost."

The Game Fair is organised by The National Game Fair Ltd, which is based in Hatfield.

For more on The Game Fair, and to book tickets, visit www.thegamefair.org

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