Peterborough City Council has made the difficult decision to cancel one of the highlights of the city's events calendar - the Perkins Great Eastern Run - because of the ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The launch of this year's race was due to take place in March, around the same time the country was being asked by the Government to socially isolate.

Since then the city council has been in discussion with Vivacity, which is taking over the management of the race, and the main sponsor, Perkins Engines, about whether a race would be viable this year.

With the continued uncertainty about when the social distancing measures will be lifted, the city council has decided to cancel this year's race, usually held in October.

Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for housing, culture and recreation for Peterborough City Council, said: "This has been a really tough decision to make as we know it will be disappointing for lots of people and also the many charities that benefit from the event.

"That said, it is the right decision, given the fact we do not know what the next six months will bring and how long the country will be asked to socially distance to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.

"In addition, an event such as the Perkins Great Eastern Run takes many months of planning which would be well underway by now. Many of the suppliers we use are also temporarily closed.

"We hope that all of our amazing runners, running clubs, businesses and residents will understand this decision and get behind the 2021 event to help the event bounce back and make it one of the biggest and best we have seen for many years."

Last month the council announced that it would be passing control of the management of the race across to the city's cultural and leisure trust, Vivacity.
 
The council wants to be able to grow the race and attract additional sponsorship and it believes that Vivacity is best placed to do this with its links with the culture and leisure sector and knowledge.
The council will continue to support the event in a number of ways including managing the necessary road closures and leading on the public safety aspects. Perkins Engines will continue as the main sponsor in 2021.