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The Game Fair 2024

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The UK’s largest countryside show returns to Oxfordshire this July and will bring with it unique business opportunities like never offered before in the local area. The Game Fair, which celebrates its 66th year, is set to welcome a record-breaking attendance as it returns to the sensational grounds of Blenheim Palace, 26 – 28 July.

Managing Director of The Game Fair, James Gower is keen to promote its value to the whole area and how it boosts the local economy, “The Game Fair is the largest festival of the countryside in the whole of Europe, where visitors can enjoy a host of food, drink and shopping options, as well as many country sports and outdoor activities. The purchases made at the show and following it are in the millions and so many areas of the rural and local economy benefit.”

Landowners, farmers and rural professionals will take advantage of vital networking at the event, with sustainability, food security and innovations at the heart of the debate. It will be a showcase for this sector and ministers, government officials and experts will not miss the chance to exploit every aspect of the event.

Roy Cox, Managing Director of the Blenheim Palace Estate comments on the impact the event will have on the local surrounding area, “There are very few other activities which can support the local economy in the way that large events - like The Game Fair - can do over such a short period of time. By sharing the World Heritage Site with over 125,000 visitors during the show, places to eat, drink and stay see an immediate boost and the platform is vital to many of our local businesses. In partnership with Oxford Brooks Business School, we have reported that these sorts of events contribute over £10m to the local economy supporting hundreds of jobs beyond the walls of the event. Economic activity in the show itself is measured in excess of £40m over the three days. It is not to be missed and aligns perfectly with our purpose, caring for this wonderful part of Oxfordshire.”

Meanwhile, a further 800 trade stands representing country fashion, equipment, food, sporting equipment and vehicles will be trading with the huge number of expected visitors.

Holland & Holland, a pre-eminent gun-maker who crafts exceptional shotguns and rifles has exhibited at The Game Fair since the inception of the event in 1958, “Our long-standing relationship with The Game Fair spans decades and we continue to support the event as it is a focal point in the summer calendar for many fieldsports enthusiasts. For Holland & Holland it provides us a platform to engage with the wider shooting community and to inspire the next generation of Holland & Holland owners, while flying the flag for British craftsmanship and shooting excellence. We are excited to return to Blenheim Palace and see this as a positive move for The Game Fair,” said Holland and Holland’s Head of Marketing, Mike Jones.

Ben Winterburn, whose father Steve Winterburn the renowned bronze sculptor started his career at The Game Fair 20 years ago, will be exhibiting for the first time with their own Winterburn Fine Art stand. Having been part of a gallery stand in the past this family business thinks 2024 is the year to go for it. “The Game Fair is such a superb event, which manages to be huge but with a real family feel at the same time. We want to make and build personal relationships with our customers which last, the bronzes become family heirlooms and we as a family business put that into every bronze we make. We envisage great sales at The Game Fair,” said Ben.

The local Oxfordshire area is set to benefit from an increase in visitors spending money at hotels, restaurants and pubs in the region. “We are really looking forward to the return of the very successful Game Fair to Blenheim Palace. It clearly is a huge boost to footfall and the clientele that we try to attract to our own business as game is an integral part of our culinary offering,” added Nick Evans, Co-Owner of The Old Crown Coaching Inn at Faringdon.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development said, “We are very pleased that national events such as The Game Fair chose West Oxfordshire, and the council works hard to accommodate the event while supporting local residents and businesses to see the benefits. We have so much to offer in the district and events like this really help support the local economy. We hope visitors to The Game Fair will take a day or two more to explore everything else our beautiful district has to offer.”

Tickets for the box office are now open and various sponsorship and exhibitor packages are available too - visit thegamefair.org to find out more.

Image credit: Matt Kidd and Sarah Farnsworth

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