Charity forced to cut investments in shows after huge losses in revenue due to coronavirus
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is cancelling two of its major shows in 2021 due to losses of up to £18m this year due to coronavirus.
Cardiff Flower Show, held since 2005, and Chatsworth Flower Show, which began in 2017, will not take place as the charity, to safeguard its future, has had to cut the substantial investment in the events.
In addition, The London Spring Show in April 2021 will move to RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the RHS hopes to move the London Botanical Art & Photography Show, also in April, to another venue in London.
Reaching new audiences
The RHS hopes to consider additional events to provide new gardening inspiration and experiences for its members, as well as reaching new audiences who have been inspired to garden for the first time during lockdown.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General said: “With record online visits to our gardening advice pages and more people using our membership advice service than ever before, the RHS is finding alternative ways to achieve its core charitable remit to help people across the whole of the UK to garden and grow plants.
“However, cancelling Chelsea and Hampton and closing our gardens has had a significant impact on our finances and we must protect the RHS, a charity of national importance, to ensure we can survive and thrive in the future.
Fewer visitor numbers
“Chatsworth and Cardiff were wonderful shows that have been a key part of our charitable remit to promote gardening, but as they attract fewer visitor numbers than Tatton and Hampton and are a significant cost to put on, it is with great sadness we cannot afford to continue to run them in these times.
“We need to mitigate our financial liabilities wherever possible, whilst trying our hardest to work in the fairest way with all stakeholders, including our partners at Chatsworth House and Cardiff Council, and we will of course continue to support the industry.
“With RHS Garden Bridgewater and the Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning at Wisley opening next year, lots of exciting plans at our other gardens and wonderful content planned for our continuing 2021 shows there is so much to look forward to.”
All other shows, including Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and Flower Show Tatton Park are planned to continue in 2021.