Keswick Convention will change dates following local protests

Keswick Ministries has announced it is changing the dates of its annual Convention next year to reflect concerns raised by local people about the impact of the event on the town.

Business owners had complained that the three-week-long festival was 'throttling' trade. They had been particularly worried by Keswick Ministries' proposal to move the dates next year to coincide with school holidays, following a change announced by local education authorities.

Keswick ConventionThe Keswick Convention has announced it is changing its dates next year.

A statement by Keswick Ministries said: 'Over the last weeks we have worked together with the mayor of Keswick, town councillors and the KTA on finding a solution to the issues raised.

'We have listened carefully to concerns raised and we have also surveyed families who attend. On the basis of this, we have now decided to change the dates.'

The Convention will now run from July 14 to August 3, 2018, it said, adding: 'This is not a decision that has been taken lightly or easily. Much prayer and reflection has gone into it. We want to be a good witness to the local community as well as look after our supporters. Striking this balance can, at times, prove difficult.

'We are aware that the decision will impact those of you who have already made plans with the original dates for the Convention in mind. We sincerely apologise for this and ask for your patience and understanding.'

The statement asked prospective visitors to consider coming a week earlier, sticking to the same Convention week number, saying: 'This would make it easier for those planning to come in the original week 3 to find accommodation.'