FROM PATRICK BARKER, PRESIDENT, BAGB:
The Bicycle Association has always stated very clearly that the show in Harrogate is staged for the benefit of those members who have asked for such a show. There is no agenda to compete with or denigrate any other show. We do however believe that any profits made on cycle shows should be re-invested in the promotion of cycling and would not hesitate to stage additional or alternative shows at other times and venues if a viable opportunity were to arise.
The industry has never been able to agree on one show agenda and having worked as hard as anyone to try to define common ground I doubt that it can. Every supplier has its own commercial agenda and every show stands or falls on the extent to which it satisfies the needs of exhibitors and visitors. Harrogate clearly satisfies the needs of one part of our industry. In 2001 the ICC raised over £50,000 and the 2002 show is already certain to deliver a substantial contribution to our work in promoting cycling.
However I recognize that the Harrogate show does not cover all the needs of all our members and I will continue explore all options because:
• as a trade association the BA should be providing exhibition opportunities for its members
• shows run by outside commercial interests divert funds away from the industry that could otherwise be used for cycle promotion
This issue has generated a lot of hot air over the past few years, especially in the past few weeks. Very little of this has been constructive in any way, and some of it has been damaging to the cause of trying to unite our industry. I have no interest in trying to score PR points and I do not think BikeBiz is the right medium for correspondence but I remain open to discussion with the various protagonists whenever they feel the need.