Organiser’s hope for Gosport boat show is dashed after row

Sue Ball

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A MAN has been left fuming after his plans for a boat show went adrift.

Ric Reynolds had hoped to showcase Gosport’s marine businesses at an action-packed one-day event at Royal Clarence Marina tomorrow.

But a row over permission to use the Berkeley Homes-run site means the event is now dead in the water.

The Gosport-based owner of Shop Share UK said Berkeley withdrew permission to use the site a few months ago.

He said: ‘They said they were happy for it to go ahead as long as there was no financial commitment.

‘I built a website for it and the whole deal was for people to come along and have a free stall, to promote a bit about what goes on.

‘That was all fine and going on slowly, then all of a sudden Berkeley said “do this, do that”.

‘The idea was that Berkeley would not only help run it but with the connections they’ve got, they’d be part of the show.’

But the firm said he was never given permission and it had been asking him to stop promoting the event on his website for several months.

The firm said it had not been told enough information about insurance, health and safety and managing both the public and traffic for the day.

In a statement, a spokeswoman said the firm was happy to support community events.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Berkeley Southern was approached earlier this year for consent to use Royal Clarence Marina as the location for a boat show.

‘In this instance, we were unable to allow use of the facilities as Berkeley not supplied with event planning information, typical for this type of event, which had been requested.

‘Notwithstanding its position being made clear to the promoter, the event continued to be advertised and consequently it has been requesting withdrawal of the promotional material for some time.’

Pete Wright, 64, is the manager at Royal Clarence Marina.

He said he had not heard the event was cancelled until he was contacted by The News.

He added: ‘I’d love to see more things being promoted in the area.’

‘I am disappointed to hear it is not going ahead.’

Mr Reynolds had advertised boat ride tasters from two local firms.