DURHAM County Show has been counting the cost of relocating to Washington as takings were significantly down on recent years.

Organisersblamethe show's move from its usual pitch near Chester-le-Street as the principal reason for the public's poor attendance.

The annual event usually attracts around 20,000 visitors but this year's show only managed 15,000 - a figure that meant it made a considerable loss.

Organisers say a similar showing next year could lead to the cancellation of the event.

Durham County Show treasurer Michael Gibbney said: "If the same happens next year we will have to seriously look at whether or not it is worth continuing.

"The fact that this is the first year at a new location created difficulties for us. Our gate receipts have been down by half because the casual visitor, as opposed to the member or competitor, have deserted us this time.

"Having said that it's not all doom and gloom. The Sunday dog show, the bigg-est one-day event of its kind in the North-East, was a resounding success and all of our classes remained steady.

"With the current climate in farming that in itself is a minor triumph."

Earlier this year the show, now in its 159th year, lost its site at Lambton Park, Burn-moor, but Sunderland City Council stepped in by offering the Northern area playing fields in Washington as a new venue.

Mr Gibbney added: "We are extremely grateful to the council for their help and we expect to be here again next year, but in the meantime we will look at various other sites with them."