Organisers have rescheduled Consett’s popular cycling festival, but vow to make it a vibrant celebration later in the year.
The now-annual event attracts international professional cyclists to Derwentside for the gruelling Tour of the Reservoir, together with a community festival that attracted 10,000 visitors last year.
This year, the organisers – Consett regeneration body the Project Genesis Trust – had planned the festival for 31 May, with even more free events to be held in the town.
But Chair John O’Connor said rescheduling was a necessary and responsible measure – and could even have positive effects.
“It’s disappointing, of course, but the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors has to be our number one priority,” he said.
“We had more than 10,000 visitors to the festival in 2019, together with 1,000 cyclists, supporters and spectators, and we were confident that the May event would attract even more.”
Undaunted, the organisers hope that the cycle event and the community festival will both take place in September.
“Looking on the positive side, we’ll have even more time to come up with ideas and make plans for a truly fun-packed festival,” said John.
“The event puts an amazing focus on the beautiful Derwentside countryside and the natural attractions that visitors enjoy so much in more normal circumstances.
“The rescheduled festival will be a real celebration of the amazing regeneration of Consett as we mark 40 years since the closure of the steelworks.
“We’ll monitor the situation carefully and make an announcement as soon appropriate.
“As ever, we know the incredibly robust people of Consett will weather this storm – and we feel the festival is something that we can all really look forward to. ”