THE 2020 Royal Bath & West Show has been cancelled due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, the show had been postponed until August 1 and 2, in the hope the situation may have improved.

But organisers have now confirmed it will not take place at all this year, instead aiming to return from June 3 to 5 next year.

"It is with great sadness that the Board of Trustees of The Royal Bath & West Show has today announced the cancellation of this year’s Royal Bath & West Show due to the ongoing global pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19)," a spokesperson said.

"The Board admits this is an extremely difficult decision to make, and having already moved the dates from May to early August, it has become clear that the impact of these challenging times on mass gatherings will not have abated sufficiently to allow the Show to go ahead.

"We understand that this is very disappointing news for everyone involved with the Show, especially given the hope that the postponement offered, but with the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic and the rules on social distancing, we feel now that it is the responsible decision to take.

"Our priority remains as always the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors, members and staff."

Rupert Cox, chief executive of the Royal Bath & West Society, said: “Obviously we are hugely disappointed to be taking this decision, and to have to cancel one of the largest events in Somerset is a great shame.

"We hope that our visitors, traders and exhibitors will understand that we have a civic responsibility to act sensibly and in line with government advice. That now means cancelling this year’s ever-popular Royal Bath & West Show.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone back to next year’s Show on June 3-5 2021, when we will throw a wonderful party in celebration of Great British farming and rural life.”

The Society will be in touch with ticketholders for the Show with details of what to do next, organisers said, and will also contact all exhibitors, sponsors and competition entrants.

"Everyone will be contacted by the end of May and we would ask for your patience due to reduced staffing levels," a spokesperson added.

"The Board of Trustees and all staff at the Royal Bath & West Society would like to thank the public, traders, competitors and sponsors for their understanding and patience during this period of uncertainty and what is an unprecedented situation."