Southport Flower Show is cancelled for second year running
Southport Flower Show has been cancelled for the second year running due to uncertainty around the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
Organisers said they made the "difficult decision" due to the risk that lockdown restrictions might not be lifted in time for the event, saying a last minute cancellation would have caused a "financial crisis".
The popular event had been due to take place between August 19 and 22, one month after the earliest date when restrictions are planned to be lifted.
But Max Steinberg CBE, chair of the Southport Flower Show board, said “there are too many elements that remain uncertain”.
He said: “We have closely monitored the situation over the past few months, and it has become clear that due to the uncertainty of the pandemic we have no other option but to cancel the show for a second successive year.
"Despite the easing of lockdown measures and the progressive vaccination program, there are still too many elements that remain uncertain.
"The date of June 21 is the earliest the final restrictions could be lifted and that date may be extended. If we were to go ahead and for whatever reason the Show had to be cancelled at the last minute, it would have severe financial implications for the charity.
"The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed that it was better to protect the long-term survival of the show by planning for 2022.
"We know what the Show means to Southport, the North West Region, exhibitors, competitors, sponsors, stewards, staff, volunteers, and our loyal visitors. We have not taken this decision lightly and we will return in 2022 with our best show ever."
The flower show is one of the biggest fixtures in Southport’s calendar each year and the largest of its kind in the North West. Around 55,000 visitors descend on Victoria Park each year, providing a boost to the local economy worth around £4million.
Last year’s cancellation was the first time the town had not hosted the flower show since World War II.
Alan Adams, general manager of Southport Flower Show and Victoria Park Events said: "This was a very difficult decision to make and the fragility of the Government’s Roadmap, alongside the uncertainty over holding large events this Summer, made planning for the 2021 show untenable.
“The first consideration must be the health and wellbeing of everyone involved in the show and how we keep our visitors safe. The show has become a much-loved fixture in the horticultural calendar and in the region’s summer events program attracting over 55,000 visitors.
"The decision to cancel for a second year has been taken with an extremely heavy heart but we believe this to be the only course of action as we continue to work through these unprecedented times, and I would like to ask everyone for their support."
The organisers have asked if people who have already purchased tickets for the 2021 show would consider supporting the show by rolling over their tickets to next year’s event, which is due to take place between August 18 - 21, 2022.