An exciting street food and urban market has been cancelled for a second time and will not go ahead until next year due to Covid fears.

HopeBox, a new event organised by Project Southchurch in conjunction with Kiwi Productions, was initially due to take place in August last year.

However, the coronavirus pandemic halted plans and resulted in the proposals being delayed by 12 months.

Bosses had hoped to arrange an event for the August bank holiday, but fears that Covid could dampen the event have seen it pushed back to September 2022.

Rob McAvoy, co-founder of Project Southchurch, said: “HopeBox, which was originally due to take place in August 2020, was postponed due to the global pandemic.

“Since January, with our partners Kiwi Productions, we have been working hard to arrange the event for August’s Bank Holiday this year.

“We have agonised over the decision to postpone the event again. We want to deliver an event that will become part of the Southend calendar for years ahead and not one remembered for failing to live up to promises and expectations.

“We have spoken to many organisations who pledged financial support and they are obviously going through turbulent times. It would, therefore, be difficult to fund an event the size and importance of HopeBox.

“As a result, we have postponed HopeBox until the first weekend in September 2022.

“It will cover a larger event footprint, allowing us to deliver a larger, more diverse, vibrant and colourful event.”

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Mr McAvoy admits allowing the inaugural event to go ahead in the midst of a global pandemic was not possible.

He added: “When you start an event, you want it to be in the best possible stage of development to succeed. Whatever conditions are, it is not risk free, either in gaining popularity or financially.

“This year, more than anything we experienced in our history, these type of events are so important.

“The events still have to be true to themselves, economically feasible and create a support to be reproduced for many years to follow.

“It is counterproductive to promote an event that is running at reduced capacity.

“Established festivals are also cautious and it is, without doubt, more difficult to launch events like HopeBox in this climate.”