The 30th and final annual open flower and vegetable show in Louth will no longer go ahead next month, due to building work at the venue, Monks’ Dyke Tennyson College (MDTC).
It had also been claimed that the Tollbar Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), which is in the process of taking over MDTC, has a policy of not allowing community lettings on any of their premises - but this has been denied by the Trust.
A ‘very disappointed’ David Fairburn, who established the flower show in 1987 and ran it every year, was looking forward to a ‘last hurrah’ in the 30th and final show which was due to take place on August 19.
He said that MDTC was an affordable venue, and that other potential venues in Louth are either too expensive or fully booked on the day of the show.
A letter received by Mr Fairfield from the MDTC’s interim head teacher, Matt Percival, said: “The college is to become part of the Tollbar Multi-Academy Trust with effect from September 1.
“A major part of this process is to provide significant improvements to college premises and facilities, and this involves a major building programme which will commence immediately when the summer term ends.
“The college site will not be accessible from Friday July 14 and I need to inform you that any lettings that have been booked for after this date will have to be cancelled.
“I apologise for the very short period of notice, however, I have only just been advised of the nature and timescale of the works.
“Further, through liaison with the Tollbar Trust, I can also confirm their policy of not facilitating community lettings on any of their academy premises.”
Martin Brown, Interim Executive Principal of MDTC and Deputy Chief Executive of Tollbar MAT, said: “We were unaware of the situation regarding the flower show. “However, it is just not possible for it to go ahead at MDTC because demolition work has been scheduled by Lincolnshire County Council.
“The work has to be done during the holiday period when students are not there for health and safety reasons.”
He also clarified: “Tollbar MAT does allow community use of Academies.
“There are groups currently using facilities at a number of our sites. The Trust allows community use as long as the cost in terms of caretaker time to lock up is not prohibitive, such as late at night/overtime, and the use does not compromise the use of facilities by students.”
He added that groups using Cordeaux can continue as they are currently, but this will be reviewed in the autumn term.