Two of the region's annual summer air shows have been cancelled for the second year running due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Blackpool and Southport airshows have been called-off amidst uncertainty over the staging of mass events. 

Blackpool's free event, which attracts up to 100,000 visitors every year, was due to be staged on the Tower Festival Headland on the seafront over the weekend of August 7 and 8.

Event organisers, Visit Blackpool, said that despite the gradual easing of lockdown measures and the progress made on vaccinations, there is still too much uncertainty relating to the staging of mass events during the summer months.

Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture for Blackpool Council, Cllr Gillian Campbell, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but throughout this pandemic our primary focus has been on protecting residents and visitors.

"As we move out of lockdown that focus will not change.

“Whilst we have an urgent desire to get our economy back on its feet as quickly as possible, we are committed to reopening tourism in a way that is both safe and enjoyable for our visitors.

“As it stands, there is no ready-made solution for managing large-scale outdoor events such as the Air Show and so it makes it impossible to plan ahead.

"We know that many other event organisers have faced a similar dilemma.

“But rest assured the Blackpool Air Show will be back and we have already made provisional arrangements for the 2022 event to be staged over the weekend of August 6 and 7.

"In the meantime, we will work closely with resort partners over the coming weeks and months to ensure that our resort emerges from this crisis with a strong and vibrant tourism offer.”

Other events in the Visit Blackpool programme for this year will continue to be reviewed over the coming weeks in line with Government guidance.

The latest Government roadmap guidance states that June 21 is the earliest date that social distancing restrictions might be lifted, but that is dependent on a number of factors and there is no clear picture on how free-to-access outdoor events can benefit from proposed mitigation measures such as testing or any form of certification to reduce the risk of infection.

The Southport Air Show, which was due to take place on July 3 and 4, has also been cancelled.

Sefton Council made the difficult decision to cancel the Southport Air Show, despite months of hard work and planning by the authority’s tourism team and partners.

Anyone who has already purchased a ticket for the show will automatically receive a full refund within ten working days.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “The decision to cancel The Air Show has not been taken lightly.

“Keeping our visitors, communities, staff and partners safe remains paramount and is just one of a number of factors being at the forefront of this decision.

“At this time there is no certainty that the event would be allowed to take place on the scale that such an iconic event deserves.

“We have also taken the decision to delay the Southport Food and Drink Festival until later this year and will confirm a new date as soon as we can.

“While this is disappointing news to us all, we continue to do everything we can to bring incredible and amazing events back to our borough and we are working hard towards hosting the British Musical Fireworks Championship (September 24 to September 26) and a rearranged Southport Food and Drink Festival at Victoria Park, Southport.”