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Kwasi Kwarteng Chancellor congratulations and VAT reduction plea – from the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain – letter 23.9.22

Guild House,
41 Clarence Street, Staines-upon-Thames, Middlesex. TW18 4SY

Rt. Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, MP,
Chancellor of the Exchequer,
11 Downing Street
London SW1

Member for Spelthorne
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 020 7219 4017 

Constituency address:
13 Station Approach, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 2GH
Email: [email protected] 
Tel: 01784 446250

23rd September 2022

Dear Mr. Kwarteng,

As the leading trade association for the Fairground industry, the President, Officials, Management and the 10 regional Section teams across the country congratulate you on your recent appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

With our Central Office, along our London & Home Counties Section office also based in your Spelthorne constituency in Staines upon Thames, recovering the industry following the Covid-19 pandemic from there with our officers, it has been a busy year assisting our members nationwide.  

We are still grateful for your support directly during the pandemic and some of our members were able to benefit from the reduced VAT payments in presenting their culturally significant fairs during the recovery period.

We acknowledge the support for both business and individuals that your new Growth Plan announced to the House of Commons today, with its  measures to release the huge potential in the British economy, by tackling high energy costs and inflation and delivering higher productivity and wages. The measures relating to tax reduction; National Insurance reduction; reduction of household bills; in addition to the recently announced Energy Price Guarantee will, along with the other announced measures assist the budgets of both our  entertainment-providing members and their customers, the visiting public.

Many of our 4000+ Showmen members across the country will be in the frontline of the challenging economic headwinds, as the important autumn season progresses, with their businesses and the industry overall  dependent on discretionary spending from the visiting public.

Therefore, a similarly reduced rate of VAT as that during the pandemic, long-term and specifically for the unique heritage-based visitor attractions that the Showmen and Showwomen present, breathing life back into town centres, would make all the difference for their chance to keep the traditions alive across the country and for them to make the necessary investment for the future, to compete in the wider leisure industry.

This follows the recognition by H.M.Treasury that we are grateful for, of the cultural heritage and value to local communities, that our fairs represent, in their 2020 consultation on rebated fuel for power-generation.

The Fairground Industry has hitherto been a strongly viable business worth over £100 million to the economy, with a supply-chain of a further £100 million, including local authorities and there is a bright future for this, the most traditional yet cutting-edge entertainment, for communities to participate in and us all to look forward to.

We are doing all we can to maintain this viability; the VAT reduction would make all the difference in keeping the lights on for us and brightening the local economies of the towns our members visit nationwide.

We wish you the best in your new Ministerial position and we look forward to keeping in touch with you and your Department, on the progress of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain and the Fairground Industry.

Yours sincerely,

John Thurston


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