AN ANNUAL event attended by many of Cumbria's livestock farmers, The Royal Highland Show, will go ahead next year after organisers launched an appeal to ensure the event's survival against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Organisers of Scotland's largest outdoor show are launching limited tickets for the four-day event, taking place on June 17 to 20 2021.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland's (RHASS) future was called into question following a substantial loss of income due to the mass cancellation of events this year.

Despite this, the society has managed to get next year's flagship show off the ground, with its return to the Ingliston showground now confirmed.

Numbers for the 2021 event may have to be restricted as social distancing rules may be still in place, and it is unlikely the event will see anything like the 200,000 strong attendance of recent years.

There would, however, be the opportunity to ‘scale up’ if changes to government restrictions allow, the RHASS said.

Tickets via Ticketmaster will be released on a staged basis with the first batch already gone on sale earlier this month, before the next release in January with an increased price structure.

RHASS Chairman Bill Gray said: “We have left no stone unturned in our planning for what will be the best possible celebration of our 180th show.

"There will be special measures we have had to factor in, but that won’t take away from what will be a vitally important showcase for the sector – we all need this more than ever as we emerge from this challenging year.”

RHASS directors and staff have been working in partnership with the Scottish government and City of Edinburgh Council to ensure guidelines are in place to enable the show to go ahead.

The society's Chief Executive Alan Laidlaw said it was 'important' that the event would 'remain a true reflection of the industry'.

He said the show would still feature the usual 'key pillars', including food, livestock, show jumping, education and rural skills.

"The reality is that there will be less people, but for the lucky people that get a ticket, they will not be disappointed. That is our absolute commitment,” Mr Laidlaw said.

In the scenario the Royal Highland Show had to cancel due to COVID-19 restrictions, showgoers would receive a full refund for the ticket price automatically from Ticketmaster.

Full COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place and the event will be subject to Government rules at that time.

More detailed guidance will be released closer to the event.

Around 200,000 visitors and 6,000 animals flocked to Edinburgh from across the UK and beyond to attend the Royal Highland Show.

The annual extravaganza usually generates around £65 million a year for the Scottish economy and has more than 1,000 trade exhibitors showcasing the best of farming, food and rural life.