HEXHAM’s Big Day Out event which had been planned to mark the end of lockdown restrictions has been postponed.

It was due to go ahead on Saturday, June 26.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to the lifting of all legal restrictions on social contact.

England was due to move to stage four of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown on June 21.

Hexham Community Partnership and Hexham Town Council, said following the Prime Minister’s announcement and due to the local situation regarding Covid-19 cases, “it is not in the town’s best interests to host such a large event at this time”.

They added: “We are so disappointed to have to postpone this much-anticipated event and know that our local residents and businesses will be disappointed too.

“We very much hope to find a new date later in the year, once remaining restrictions have been lifted.

“We would like to thank all of those involved with the planning for the event and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Hexham Community Partnership had planned the event in partnership with the town council, Hexham Cultural Network, Hexham Business Group, local schools and local charities.

Hexham Town Council had agreed to contribute £7,500 into the day, which was going to include music at the bandstand, pop-up performances in the town centre, children’s activities and fairground rides, while classic cars would be making an appearance.

Covid-19 cases have surged across the country in recent weeks.

At the time of writing, eight wards across Tynedale and Ponteland have more than five positive cases recorded over the last seven days.

Prudhoe South has 13 cases recorded, and Hexham Central with Acomb have 10 cases. Ponteland West, Ponteland North, and Hexham West each have seven cases, whilst Prudhoe North and Prudhoe South with Heddon each have six cases. Bywell ward has five cases recorded.

Mayor of Hexham Derek Kennedy said: “It’s very disappointing to report that we are having to postpone Hexham’s Big Day Out.

“The Prime Minister’s message earlier this week highlighted that the number of cases are starting to rise and we also have reports of cases in and around Northumberland and Hexham.

“So it’s with a heavy heart that we have had to postpone.”

Coun. Kennedy added that Hexham Farmers’ Market would go ahead on Saturday, June 26.

Hexham Town Council will be holding a stall there, giving residents the opportunity to meet and talk with town councillors.

On the delay in lifting lockdown restrictions, Hexham MP Guy Opperman said: “The whole pandemic has been incredibly difficult for our whole community across Tynedale and Ponteland.

“The recent announcement of delaying Stage 4 of the roadmap until July 19 will come as a disappointment to many, particularly hospitality, travel and events businesses which have had a very difficult time throughout the pandemic.

“Vaccines are our way back to normality. It is vital that everyone gets fully vaccinated to ensure maximum protection from the Delta variant. And two jabs definitely is much better than one. Everyone over 21 is now able to book their jab. So please, when you get the call, get the jab."