DESPITE hopes that Westmorland County Agricultural Society might be able to go ahead in September, the management committee has this week confirmed the 'difficult decision' to cancel the 2020 event altogether.

"Whilst planning for the show has continued, we have also maintained an extremely close eye on developments in respect of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic," read the committee's statement.

"Despite early optimism that we may be able to hold an event in September, very sadly we have come to the conclusion that government guidelines, especially in respect of social distancing measures involving large gatherings, make the running of such an event incredibly uncertain and a risk that the society cannot take.

"The health and safety of everyone involved including the public, exhibitors, stewards, members, contractors and the county as a whole remain our priority. Recent events further support our concerns."

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"We all fully realise that the impact of the pandemic has far reaching and serious consequences, not only for those so sadly impacted by the loss of friends and loved ones, but also those who are suffering financially," added the committee.

"The Westmorland County Show has been going since 1799 and has survived previous years in which a show could not be held such as the two World Wars. We remain very positive for the future and planning has already begun for next year’s show on Thursday September 9, 2021."