THE home of Somerset County Cricket Club is looking to celebrate 2020 matches of a different kind next year.

As the bails are removed at the Cooper Associates County Ground, in Taunton, for the final time this season, it emerges that the club is hoping to hold some of the country's first opposite sex civil partnerships next year.

The venue is one of more than 120 across the county that will be able to host men and women wishing to tie the know but not wanting to get married.

Well-known spots such as Wookey Hole caves, Dunster Castle, Clevedon Pier, Secret World Animal Rescue and Haynes Motor Museum as well as farms, hotels and country houses all have permission to conduct the ceremonies.

It comes after the Government announced opposite sex civil partnerships would be legalised before the end of the year - previously only same sex couples could enter such legal agreements.

Civil partnerships were introduced to allow same sex couples to form a legal union in 2005, while marriage equality for all British couples was introduced in 2014. The latest development is welcomed by campaigners who have worked to make both choices open to all couples.

Somerset County Council’s Registration Service is gearing up to hear from couples interested in booking a ceremony in 2020.

The service has a team of professional celebrants who will tailor ceremonies to suit each couple’s preferences either in a register office or one of the venues across Somerset.

Cllr David Hall, cabinet member for economic development, planning and community infrastructure at County Hall, said: "We are proud to offer a truly customer-focused registration service and the chance to provide civil partnerships to all couples is a welcome addition to our offer.

"Time and again, we receive feedback that our staff, ceremonies and venues have exceeded expectations.

"At offices accessible across all districts, the registration staff are a first-rate team delivering a service that reflects the needs of our residents and visitors."

You can find out more about marriage and partnerships at