CLUBS and venues around Swindon expressed disappointment about the prime minister pushing back the end of lockdown to July 19.

The Power Lounge on Bridge Street had hoped to host the opening night of its nightclub on Monday but must now rearrange the packed guest list for this event and several others that were pencilled in for the next four weeks.

Manager Balkumari Roka said: “We have to take the government guidelines seriously. even if it means delaying the lockdown further which will definitely affect any business within this industry.

“We have so many bookings for June 21 and we were fully booked until August but now, due to this delay, we are having to either cancel the bookings or rebook.

“Financially , we will definitely suffer as we have invested so much money into preparation so that we could be geared up for the opening on Monday.

“But what can we do other then to adhere to the guidelines and wait for another four weeks? Hopefully there will be good news for our industry soon.”

The Wyvern Theatre is closed but had a few shows scheduled for late June and early July which are no longer advertised.

A Morecambe and Wise tribute act scheduled for June 29, a performance of Menopause The Musical on July 9 and The Greatest Songmen Richard and Adam on July 16 have been moved.

However, two performances of Here Come The Boys with Pasha Kovalev, Aljaz Skorjanec and Graziano Di Prima from Strictly Come Dancing is still advertised on the Swindon Theatres website for July 13.

Julian Russell is the CEO of HQ Theatres, which runs the Wyvern and Swindon Arts Centre. He said: “We are very disappointed with the government’s announcement. While we understand the case for a cautious approach, the government’s recent research shows no correlation between live-events and transmission.

"In simple terms, as the research demonstrates, a visit to a show presents no greater risk than a trip to a restaurant, pub, cinema or supermarket.

"The Wyvern Theatre and Swindon Arts Centre cannot operate while social distancing remains; but other measures can be put in place to enhance audience safety, give confidence and minimise risk.

"80 per cent of adults have now had a vaccine. 60 per cent (including those at most serious risk) have had a second dose. Given the successful vaccine rollout and the data now supporting a return to live events at capacity, we urge the government to act as quickly as possible to allow us to reopen.

"The nature of our venue programme means that, even once restrictions are lifted, it will be some time before we can welcome audiences back to see a show.

"Each delay pushes this reopening date back further, with obvious implications for the local economy, our business and the health and wellbeing of our communities and staff.

"A trip to see a show is thrilling, joyful and fun. It’s an escape, a diversion, a release. It’s one of the few remaining shared experiences we have. And now, more than ever, it’s the tonic we need.

"We will continue to work with our local authority partners, industry bodies, DCMS and others to push for a return to live events as soon as possible.

"We thank audiences for their patience and understanding. We look forward to welcoming them back – with safety as our number one priority - as soon as we are able.”