All events on Paignton Green cancelled for 2020


English Riviera Green Spaces Group announces cancellation of Paignton Green events for 2020 Paignton Green event committees react to uncertainty over Covid-19 restrictions.

(Paignton, Devon 19th of May 2020) With much sadness and regret, the Committee of the English Riviera Green Spaces group (ERGSG) has agreed that the 2020 Summer events scheduled for Paignton Green must be cancelled. The committees have also ruled out the possibility of staging their events at a future date this year.

The English Riviera Green Spaces group incorporates Paignton Festival (July 25th – Aug 2nd), Paignton Regatta (Aug 8th – Aug 16th) and Children’s Week (Torbay) (Aug 18th – Aug 22nd), as well as the English Riviera Bike Festival, which was cancelled in March, shortly before the lockdown.

The group, who meet regularly in order to exchange ideas and work together have taken advice from many different agencies including local and national groups. Decisions were made by each committee, after much deliberation and a thorough evaluation and risk assessment for each event. The decision is based on information gathered since the COVID-19 outbreak started to have an impact on normal life and considered several factors, including:

• concerns for the health and safety of all those involved in the staging and running of the events, as well as wider public health;
• Latest Government guidance, social distancing requirements, and the impact on the statutory services such as the police, fire service and the NHS.

Paul Northey, Co-ordinator of the English Riviera Green Spaces group stated “We had very much hoped that the situation in the UK will have improved significantly by the summer. However, given Government social distancing measures, it will simply not be possible to for the events to continue this year”

Ken Robertson, Chairman of Paignton Regatta stated, “The Regatta committee is deeply saddened to have to cancel the 2020 event. However, we feel this is the right decision, both for the safety of our volunteers and the general public. We will now begin planning a bigger and better event for 2021”

All three events are steeped in the history of Torbay; bringing additional visitors to the area and all the events are loved by tourists and locals alike. Paignton Regatta is in its 173rd year, Paignton Festival (formally Torbay Carnival) is over 100 years old and Children’s week is the longest running children’s festival in the UK.

Michael Bailey, Chairman of Paignton Festival added “It is with the heaviest heart that the Senior Management Team and committee at Paignton Festival had to make the most difficult decision to cancel this year’s event. In over 110 years of our event running, we have never had to make this decision before, and while it is a difficult decision, it is definitely the best one to have made in light of the current pandemic across the world – and in doing our part to help prevent a second spike. Our entire committee is deeply saddened that it has come to this, but we are all now pulling together in order to bring us back in 2021 bigger and better than ever before.”

Matthew Dart, Chairman of Children’s Week (Torbay) Said “ The Children’s Week team are really sad that we have had to make the decision to cancel this year, but fully understand it is the right decision to make as the safety of all our visitors and volunteers is paramount. It will be the first time we have not been able to go ahead with the event since 1946 and we know this will come as a disappointment for many children and families who attend each year. We have already started to plan for a bigger event in 2021 and look forward to seeing you all there, 17th – 21st August 2021. Stay safe everyone, from all the children’s week Team

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “It is sad that many of our key events, that are so popular with residents and visitors, have to be cancelled due to the current situation. However, the safety of our residents and visitors is paramount so we must adhere to government guidance. Hopefully, we will see many of our local events return next year.”

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