Organisers of the popular Christmas Fair in Lavenham have confirmed it will not be going ahead this year due to a lack of parking and concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement on the Lavenham Voice and Noticeboard Facebook page, Tony Ranzetta, who was involved with the planning of the Christmas Fair, said it had been "stood down", though it is hoped plans for a Christmas light switch-on, Santa's Grotto and carol singing will still go ahead.

Mr Ranzetta, who has been praised by the local community for his efforts, said: "What is definitely not going ahead is the market and the main event which was to be an ice city in the market place."

Describing the challenges organisers faced Mr Ranzetta said there was a problem with funding and a lack of trustees.

In his statement on Facebook Mr Ranzetta went on to say: "The real issue was always that a much publicised event becomes a big draw, our village does not have enough car parking to hold such an event safely."

He added: "In addition, we remain very unsure re Covid, while even if Covid dies down, we also have flu levels increasing. The risk of infection is growing in society generally and this argues for a long-term rethink on events."

Despite the Lavenham Christmas Fair not going ahead this year, people in the historic Suffolk village are still being encouraged to get into the festive spirit at three late-night shopping events taking place in November and December.

A number of shops and cafes in the town will be open until 8pm on Friday 19 and Friday 26 of November and Friday December 3 and there is currently free parking in Lavenham.

It is not yet clear if the Lavenham Christmas Fair will be back in 2022 - Mr Ranzetta said for it to go ahead planning will need to start "immediately" as there would need to be a park and ride system in place for the safety of visitors.

Earlier this year it was confirmed that the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, one of the largest events in the country, had been cancelled.