Thanks to lobbying by the Glendale Agricultural Show and the NFU, the many farmers who help make the Glendale Show happen are no longer seeing red.
Stuart Nelson, Show Director and the contractor responsible for setting up the entire show ground.
Two years ago Glendale Show were forced to turn away offers of much needed help from local farmers – because it was against the law. That was as a result of a ban on using tractors running on red diesel by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). However HMRC has now clarified that owners of agricultural vehicles can still use red diesel if they are simply helping with the set up of an agricultural show.
Switching from red diesel to white diesel has caused the organisers enormous administrative problems and cost them hundreds of pounds. It has also meant flushing out tanks to transfer between fuel sources taking up valuable time that farmers simply don’t need during harvest. This is welcome news and a huge cost saving as Red diesel is priced at 45p a litre whereas white diesel costs up to £1.20.
Stuart Nelson, Show Director and the contractor responsible for setting up the entire show ground explains: “The problem came about two years ago because the previous ruling meant that red diesel could only be used if according to HMRC, there was a “direct, tangible benefit to agriculture”.
“The show field has an agricultural holding number and much of our work is showcasing farming, livestock and farming enterprises. Organisers of shows across the country couldn’t believe that agricultural shows did not fall into this category. We are delighted that in the face of strong and persistent lobbying the HMRC have seen sense and have reversed the ruling.”
“They have recognised the crucial role which tractors play setting up local agricultural shows and once again here at Glendale Show we are looking forward to a return to our normal system with farmers happily lending men and tractors “to get the job done”.
Last year, with the increased time and costs involved and the threat of prosecution hanging over them many farmers just could not help out. Stuart says, “We were forced to set up what is one of the biggest agricultural shows in the North East with just one tractor dedicated to white diesel.”
The new rules will let farmers set up their local agricultural show provided that travel is normally within 15 miles and there is no direct commercial gain involved.
The Glendale Show held on August Bank Holiday Monday is North Northumberland’s largest rural event, attracting thousands of visitors from across the North of England and the Scottish Borders.
For more information about the show and the society, visit www.glendaleshow.com.
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