THIS year's Swanage Carnival becomes the latest Dorset event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported, in mid-April organisers had remained hopeful that the popular annual spectacular could still take place.

However, a decision has now been made to scrap this year's carnival, with details released on the planned date for 2021.

A statement posted on the event's Facebook page said: "It is with a heavy heart that we have reached the difficult decision to cancel Swanage Carnival 2020.

"We had planned a great week of fun and entertainment, and we have left making this difficult decision as long as possible. However, it is clear that restrictions relating to Covid-19 will be in place for the foreseeable future.

"This means that staging an event such as carnival, that will gather large numbers of people and will attract people from far and wide to Swanage, may not be safe."

Organisers said the wellbeing of everyone involved with the event was "paramount".

The statement added: "We are taking this step to protect everyone and to ensure that our local NHS and emergency services are not placed under undue pressure.

We also appreciate that due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, many of our sponsors will not be in a position to support us as they usually would.

"As a self-funded event, without the generous support from all our sponsors and the attendance of all our supporters, we will not be able to fund our carnival week.

"If we have insufficient funds to cover the cost of putting on carnival this will jeopardise the running of our event in the future, and we want to avoid this risk.

"For these reasons, Carnival 2020 is cancelled but, we will be back in 2021 stronger, bigger, brighter and louder than ever!

"Our thoughts are with those who have been affected and impacted by Covid-19."

With a long history in the town, the event has grown over the past 40 years into a major week-long attraction run by volunteers.

Next year's Swanage Carnival week is set to run from July 31 to August 7.‬