Coronavirus cancels Conservative Party Spring Forum set to be held at Harrogate Convention Centre

The Conservative Party Spring Forum has become the latest major event to be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 4:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 4:13 pm

Thousands of party faithfuls and top politicians were expected to attend the event at Harrogate Convention Centre on April 3 and 4.

A message on the Conservative Party's website said: "Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we have decided to cancel this year's Spring Forum. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but the health and safety of our delegates is our main concern."

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The event was due to be held at Harrogate Convention Centre.

Paula Lorimer, director at the borough council-owned venue, said it is working in line with government advice against mass gatherings.

She said: "Given the current government advice on coronavirus, we are pro-actively working with our customers to support them in any way that we can.

"I’m in active talks with industry bodies - the Association of Event Venues and the Association of Professional Conference Organisers - to explore solutions for the events industry nationally, and will work collaboratively with other venues to help re-home and re-schedule events to ensure a healthy pipeline of future events.”

Mrs Lorimer also said steps are being taken to protect Harrogate's tourism and events industry as the coronavirus outbreak looks set to worsen.

She said: “As a flagship venue, I’m very conscious of the struggles of satellite businesses too - including hotels, restaurants and retail - and we are taking steps to help safeguard the future economic prosperity of Harrogate’s tourism and events industry to help the recovery from this crisis.

"In the meantime, safeguarding the health of our staff, clients and visitors, is a priority.”

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter.