The Austell Project has announced that both its 2020 town centre events, The Garden Festival and The Whitegold Festival of Clay, are postponed until 2021.

After careful consideration, with public safety as the top priority, organisers say they have made the difficult but necessary decision that neither event will be able to go ahead as planned this year.

Instead, the team is launching an virtual exhibition online to showcase the Garden Route projects, Whitegold public art commissions and hopefully the completed International Ceramics Prize winner’s works.

The collection of artworks, being created by leading international artists especially for St Austell was intended to be exhibited at the Whitegold festival this September, will now be shown online via the Whitegold website from September.

James Staughton, chair of St Austell Bay Economic Forum (which leads the Austell Project) said: “Although a very tough decision and one we didn’t take lightly, our team feel postponing until 2021 is what’s necessary to help keep everyone safe.

“We know, like us, many will be left disappointed, however we’re very excited to be able to continue our work for St Austell and look forward to sharing our ongoing initiatives and developments over the coming months.”

In another development, next year the two festivals are set to merge together as one – providing one bigger programme of workshops, activities, craft stalls, food traders, live music and entertainment for local people to enjoy. 2021 dates are set to be confirmed and announced shortly.