APPLEBY horse fair will not go ahead in June this year as a result of the pandemic.

After being cancelled for only the second time in its history, as a result of the pandemic, it has now been moved to a later date.

In April, the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group met again to discuss plans for the 2021 Appleby Horse Fair.

An agreement was reached that MASCG would support the Fair to take place from Thursday, August 12 – subject to any potential changes in Government regulations and recommendations around large events.

At the moment Billy Welch, Gypsy and Traveller representative on the MASCG has confirmed that the members of his community are doing everything they can to keep safe and be safe ahead of the fair with all eligible getting their vaccine.

Les Clark, chair of the Appleby Horse Fair MASCG and deputy chief executive of Eden District Council, said: “In reaching this decision the Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group has had to weigh many factors.

“It is preferable for everyone involved – local settled people, Gypsies and Travellers and the local authorities – for Appleby Horse Fair to happen on a set date. Had no date been set, there would be an increased likelihood of ad hoc gatherings which nobody would be prepared for.

“While the Government roadmap currently states that large events can take place from 21 June, it was the preference of the MASCG that a new date for Appleby Horse Fair be selected later into the summer to allow the vaccination programme valuable extra weeks to roll out.

“Selecting a date has been a difficult process. As the traditional date is not viable, there has had to be compromise on all sides. As Chair of the MASCG I would like to thank everyone for their patience and for their willingness to find common ground during what is a difficult time for everyone.”

Mr Welch, said: “While the Gypsy and Traveller community would have been happier for the Fair to be held earlier in the summer, we are happy with the compromise date identified by the MASCG.”