Bolton Food and Drink Festival has been cancelled ­— becoming the latest event to fall victim to the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement was made in an email to traders this afternoon, with organisers looking to minimise risks to the community in light of recent government announcements on COVID-19.

The festival is a key part of Bolton's summer, attracting celebrity chefs and thousands of visitors to the tow.

The email, seen by The Bolton News, said: "We’re writing to you to inform that in light of the government’s announcements in recent days we have taken the decision not to hold the Bolton Food and Drink Festival this year.  

"The event takes a huge amount of planning which would be taking place right now and it was felt our resources are better used tackling the current situation.

"We have been preparing this event for a long time to display an extraordinary weekend and so it saddens us to cancel it, but with the current situation worldwide our main objective is minimise risk for our community, our team and partners.  

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and look to forward to working with you next year.

"We’ll keep you updated of any news or information you need to be aware of.

"Thanks for your support and please if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us."  

Trader Dex Morris, who runs Second City Coffee, said: "We're absolutely gutted for us and for Bolton. This is tragic.

"I'm devastated by the news. Both financially and just pure pleasure in doing the event - it's so sad.

"I only do one booked event a year and it's Bolton Food and Drink Festival."