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However, the firm has managed to reschedule Peterborough, the two-day event it acquired last year, from April 10-11 to June 19-20 (see below).

“Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by this unprecedented event,” IACF managing director Will Thomas said in a statement. 

“We have been doing everything in our power to manage this very difficult situation.”

Thomas said its venues – mainly large showgrounds located around the UK – were insisting that “it’s business as usual”, as the government has recommended to not attend but not banned large gatherings. 

“We disagree with this stance and so we have cancelled or postponed fairs this month and in April.”

Two-day fairs at Newark and Ardingly in March and April have been cancelled, with pre-paid bookings for these transferring to later scheduled events.

'We still have venue costs to pay'

Thomas told ATG: "IACF is happy to support the industry by transferring all pre-paid bookings to a future schedule, even though as a business we are still incurring the signifcant costs of venues."

IACF was able to reschedule Peterborough as “it’s only twice a year and was easier to slot back to later in the calendar,” Thomas said.

“If the public health situation has not improved by this time, we will work with the showground to reschedule again.”

IACF cancellations:

Newbury Monday, March 30

Newark Thursday-Friday, April 2-3

Ardingly Tuesday-Wednesday April 21-22

Runway Newark Monday April 27 and Monday, May 18

IACF rescheduled:

Peterborough Moved from Friday-Saturday, April 10-11 to June 19-20

* To read more about postponed, cancelled or amended fairs and auctions visit Antiques Trade Gazette's latest coronavirus changes article.