LYMM Festival is the latest community event to pull the plug due to rapidly rising cases of the Covid Delta variant.

Some of the 11-day programme will still go ahead as there are a number of virtual talks taking place such as an interview with award-winning Lymm crime author Martin Edwards.

But with 'great regret' the organisers have decided to postpone all live events.

The main one was an evening with Eddie the Eagle, who captured the nation's hearts in 1988 when he became the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.

Committee Chairman Ian Marks said: “The team was working incredibly hard to deliver a reduced and varied programme in line with 'Step 3' restrictions.

"We were cautiously optimistic this would withstand delays to the roadmap. The turning point was the decision by the government to make Warrington ‘an enhanced support package area’ due to the rapidly rising cases in the town, driven by the Delta variant.

"There is no law saying we had to cancel but we decided it was morally the right thing to do.

"Lymm Historic Transport Day which runs under the umbrella of the Festival had cancelled, certain venues and some performers had either withdrawn or were nervous and we were finding that people were reluctant to buy tickets.

"Anyone who has already bought tickets will receive a refund but we ask people to please be patient while we organise this. We will also be in touch with our sponsors in the next few days.

"We will investigate whether we can reschedule some of the main events for later in the year. Hopefully this means a ‘postponement’ rather than a ‘cancellation’. All the on-line events will go ahead as planned and we are hoping that the Scarecrow Trail can also take place.

"This decision is a bitter one but we hope the people of Lymm and surrounding areas will understand why we could not go ahead and take the risk of adding to infections despite wanting to promote live arts and events. Please visit our website for further details.”

It comes as Warrington experienced the fourth highest week-on-week rise in coronavirus case rates in the country, according to the latest data from Public Health England.