Show relocation plans delayed by BAA

The Royal Highland Show's plans to relocate to a new site adjacent to its existing Ingliston showground by 2013 were dealt a blow this week by airport operator BAA.

BAA has revealed revised plans for the long-term development of Edinburgh Airport which threatens to delay the planned relocation of the Highland Show until at least 2020 and probably later.

The move leaves the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in limbo with millions of pounds already spent or committed to the enforced move across the A8 to the proposed new Norton Park site and jeopardising negotiations to acquire the new site from the existing owners.

"To be told two years into BAA's master plan that the company has changed its mind and that there are to be further delays doesn't seem fair or reasonable," said RHASS chief executive Ray Jones.

"BAA still wants our land in the future but they want to cherry pick what and when they buy, over a longer period of time, and so avoid paying for the full relocation of the showground."

BAA said it has been forced to revise its plans because of the high cost of relocating the show site - estimated at £353mm at projected 2013 prices - which the RHASS expects BAA to meet.

The new plan means the BAA will require only 25.5 hectares (63 acres) of additional land - 21.5 hectares (53 acres) from the showground and four hectares (10 acres) from Vion (formerly Grampian Country Food Group) which owns an adjoining feedmill - sometime between 2013 and 2020 for the extension of the airport and that the show will not require to relocate before 2020.