THE charity behind outdoor live action show Kynren has cancelled this summer's run of shows and the launch of its new visitor park.

Eleven Arches said it was with 'heavy heart' it had to announced the 2020 season would not go ahead, the first time it has missed a show since its launch in 2016.

Its new attraction, which is under development at the venue on the edge of Bishop Auckland, will also not open this year due to the impact of coronavirus.

The Park is now expected to launch on August 7, 2021.

Millionaire philanthropist and co-founder Jonathan Ruffer will sponsor the costs to open in 2021 to protect Kynren for future generations, it added.

The Northern Echo:

A spokesperson said: "Over the past few months we have worked tirelessly on a series of contingency plans to try to ensure this world-class live event could still go ahead, seeking advice from experts, consulting widely with other major live events and theme parks throughout the world, and monitoring the UK’s government’s advice, the WHO recommendations and other European countries’ evolving policies out of lockdown on a daily basis.

"We did this and stood ready to open with plans adapted to the new reality, because we recognise how important Kynren is for the North East as a visitor attraction.

"Every step of the way we followed government guidance and ensured the safety and wellbeing of our teams and our visitors were at the heart of all our decision-making processes.

"However, with ongoing uncertainty surrounding timelines and specific government guidance on travel and the hospitality and leisure sector, we must acknowledge that the conditions we needed to open have not materialised."

The Northern Echo:

They said that as a charity - which alongside faith, art and tourism initiatives by The Auckland Project aims to regenerate the Bishop Auckland area - the loss of revenues from live performances present the organisation with an enormous challenge.

"Kynren has won a special place with local people and businesses, our amazing cast and crew of volunteers – the Archers- have created a most valuable sense of friendship and community and our audiences have experienced an exhilarating and awe-inspiring performance.

The Northern Echo:

"It is for these reasons we remain totally committed to Kynren and it is why our co-founder, philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer, has agreed to sponsor the costs to open in 2021 to protect Kynren for future generations.

"We can therefore confirm our spectacular new Park and our award-winning production Kynren - an epic tale of England will return in 2021 and welcome visitors every Saturday from the August 7 to September 11."

The Northern Echo: Scenes from the Kynren show at Bishop Auckland

Ticket and voucher holders are being encouraged to accept a 24-month credit and other flexible arrangements for bookings.

The spokesperson added: "Without you and your support we do not have an event, and we have been heartened and humbled by the many messages of encouragement we have received.

"We do however appreciate it’s a difficult time for everyone: if you are willing to, and able to accept our offer above, you will be supporting Kynren and our community through this very difficult time.

"If however this is not possible, please email to request a refund.

"We look forward to welcoming you as early as 2021 and in the meantime, please stay safe and look after each other."

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