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Posted by Rachel Westall on 6 May 2021
The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) has been acquired by Kerrison Exhibitions Limited in a deal completed on 14th April, 2021 after the previous owner, PSM Limited, was forced to seek a new owner for the fair following the cancellation of its April 2020 and 2021 events during the lockdown. The past year has seen unprecedented challenges for the exhibitions and live events industry. Whilst many shows, organisers, contractors and venues may not make it through to the other side of the pandemic restrictions, today’s acquisition announcement confirms that this trade show for handmade British crafts will benefit from new investment and the fair’s future is secure for many years to come.
Kerrison Exhibitions has confirmed that the live edition of BCTF will take place from 10th – 12th April, 2022 at its traditional home, the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate. As an immediate goodwill gesture and boost for the sector, exhibitors who booked to participate in BCTF 2020 before the pandemic struck will have the opportunity to take up their stands next year at no further cost.
Previous owner, Margeret Bunn, will continue to work on the fair as a consultant and mentor for the community of British designers she has done so much to nurture and support over the past two decades as the Fair Director.
Mrs Bunn said: "The timing of lockdown could not have been worse for us, but I'm pleased to have found a solution which both guarantees the continuation of BCTF and honours the agreements made with exhibitors before the pandemic turned all our worlds upside down. The vast majority of exhibitors have been incredibly understanding and supportive of the predicament we found ourselves in and it's a big relief that their faith and support will be rewarded at next year's event. The show's new owners have proven capability, experience and are well funded. I'm confident this will mark a bright new chapter in the ongoing evolution of BCTF, an event which means so much to both me personally and the entire community of British makers".
An extended digital edition of BCTF is confirmed as going ahead on 27th June – 1st July this year, again in partnership with specialist event technology developer, denre.com. BCTF Online has run twice previously in 2020 and these proved to be pioneering, best-in-class events, attracting over 1,200 high quality buyers.
The owner of Kerrison Exhibitions, Matt Miller, commented: "British Craft Trade Fair is an exceptional brand with over 45 years' heritage as a market leader in its sector and I strongly believe it has a great future ahead. I'm pleased to confirm we'll carry all existing stand bookings over to the show in Harrogate next year. The market for British Crafts has grown really well over the past few years and there is every indication that it will go from strength to strength in future, with many consumers now committed to shopping local and supporting British made. We've a very strong platform to build on and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to take the show forward with the help of the same expert and dedicated team who've worked so incredibly hard to keep BCTF alive throughout lockdown."
For more information on British Craft Trade Fair and to register your interest in the show as either a buyer or a maker, visit the website: https://bctf.co.uk/