The inaugural Royal Harbour History Festival (RHHF), which was due to take place this weekend, has been cancelled due to a lack of funding.

The three-day festival was hoping to attract 80,000 visitors to Ramsgate, Kent, with an ambitious programme planned to celebrate the rich history of Thanet and east Kent. The event was set to include a cricket match at the Goodwin Sands, a Vikings and Romans history display and a screening of the film Dunkirk on the beach.

Victoria Nielson, chairwoman of the RHHF, commented: “It is with great sadness and regret that a difficult decision has now been made to not hold the Royal Harbour History Festival this year.

“Our focus for Friday, June 15 was the Royal Navy vs Royal Harbour Goodwin Sands cricket match at which we had gathered, alongside the Royal Navy, the incredible support of participants such as Chris Cowdrey, David Gower and Henry Blofeld. We enjoyed an excellent response from the community as we prepared for this year’s festival and I want to thank all who were so helpful, including our many national, regional and local supporting partners.

“However, we have continued to struggle with securing enough funding. We have been working with a number of great local people to get ahead of these challenges and find collaborative solutions but we had to make the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel. I firmly believe that the work over the last three years has laid the foundations for future annual events that will see the festival emerge as a ‘destination history’ event with an enhanced and impactful visitor programme.”

The RHHF team still plans to hold some of the events at future dates if funding can be secured.