The Royal Highland Show has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) announced the move on Tuesday following the Scottish and UK governments’ guidance on gatherings and social distancing.
The show is Scotland’s largest outdoor agricultural event, attracting up to 200,000 people each year and is the premier showcase for the food, farming and rural industry.
Commenting on the decision, RHASS chairman Bill Gray said: “It is with deep regret and huge personal disappointment that I confirm the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Highland Show.
“Plans for the 180th Show are at an advanced stage but given recent and ongoing developments, the directors and I have taken the only course of action open to us.
“Thankfully, the sector is nothing but resilient and while this will no doubt test us, I am confident that some good will come from what is a bleak and worrying time for us all.
“To that end, we are calling on the industry and wider partners to work with us to support each other to ensure we weather the storm.”
RHASS said exhibitors and sponsors will be communicated with over the coming weeks “as resources allow” and ticketholders are being advised to contact Ticketmaster for a full refund.
Alan Laidlaw, RHASS chief executive, added: “It would be naïve to underestimate the massive impact the cancellation will have on the charity, but with the industry’s support, I have little doubt that we can, and we will, get through this.
“Personally, I am saddened that despite our best intentions, we are not able to stage this year’s event as we had some exciting developments planned; but in these unprecedented times we must focus on the wider issue, support the vulnerable in our communities and ensure that Scottish agriculture plays its essential part in achieving this.”