North Devon Foodfest will not be going ahead in 2020.

The popular food festival, which draws huge crowds from year to year each October, has been cancelled over concerns about maintaining social distancing and the risk of spreading coronavirus.

This year would have been the events 13th year, but organisers Barnstaple Town Centre management and North Devon Council (NDC), said public safety had to be put first.

NDC’s lead member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, said: “We are naturally disappointed to have had to cancel Foodfest this year and we understand our residents will feel the same way.

“Foodfest is well known in the area for the high quality local artisan food businesses showcasing their wares under one roof and it’s one of the foodie highlights of our year.

“While it’s a shame that we won’t get to sample the gastronomic treats we usually enjoy at Foodfest in October, we need to put public safety first, so it’s the right decision to cancel it this year.

“In brighter news, we hope to come back bigger and better in 2021, with the best chefs and food businesses in our region making an appearance.”