Scores of schoolchildren across Cumbria have been left heartbroken at the news that the

immensely popular Rock Challenge event has been cancelled next year.

The event, delivering music with a message, has been a prominent feature in the calendar for schools across the county, held at Carlisle’s Sands Centre.

Rock Challenge 2019 Northern Premier winners West Lakes Academy, of Egremont, said they “devastated” after news broke that the competition would not run next year.

The Egremont school walked away with the top award in their 10th year of competing but staff said they were “heartbroken” after receiving confirmation that the Rock Challenge 2020 tour has been cancelled nationally.

A spokesman for the WLA Rock Challenge team said: “The information we received from Global Rock Challenge states that it is becoming increasingly difficult for local governments and corporations to sponsor and provide for the many events that take place around England and Scotland.

“The predicted generation of funds from sponsorships, fees and ticket sales would likely have been insufficient to produce the events young people have grown to love.

“We have some of the most talented students in the world, and the WLA Rock Challenge team are truly heartbroken that they won’t get to experience another year.”

Broughton Primary School headteacher Anna Bewsher said her pupils were upset that they would not be able to take part in the junior version of Rock Challenge next year.

She said: “We were really disappointed that it has been cancelled and it was with heavy hearts that I told the kids in assembly. They have told us at the right time as we hadn’t started rehearsing, however, two parents had planned out an entire theme with stage props, direction etc.

“The children were disappointed and upset and a few have been to see me and have asked if they will ever be able to do it again.”