A GROUP supporting new parents by hosting charity events has lost its Colchester venue... to a cage fighting show.

NCT offers support in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, as well as campaigning to improve maternity care.

Every year the group hosts events in the town, the main one being the NCT nearly new sales at Charter Hall.

Committee member Samantha Warner said: “They have decided after continuously messing us around to drop our twice annual booking, which we have held at Charter Hall for more than ten years, and instead put on a cage fighting event. This has caused considerable issues with our fundraising and as a result we are unable to hold a winter sale, and we’ve had to mess around other small businesses who attend and promote as well.”

The sale was due to be held on November 17.

Samantha added: “We have always paid to hire Charter Hall despite being a registered charity. We decided to pull out of using Charter Hall earlier this year due to the mounting costs.

“We contacted the Gilberd Sports Centre who were willing to support us but they are linked to Charter Hall.”

On hearing about their talk with the Gilberd Sports Centre, Amphora Trading invited the group back to renegotiate.

Samantha added: “We agreed to go back to them and sign the contract, which they were definitely in receipt of, despite their comments that they weren’t. Literally weeks later, they phoned to advise they had a better offer and were cancelling our sale.”

It is the first time a sale has been cancelled in 30 years.

They have now secured another venue for the spring sale, at the Colchester County High School for Girls.

The next sale will be on March 16 and registration opens for sellers on January 26.

An Amphora Trading spokesman said: “Following a provisional booking by the NCT, and prior to the receipt of their signed contract, an opportunity arose to host a televised sporting event at Charter Hall.

“We’ve had a number of conversations with the NCT committee since September to find an alternative date for the nearly-new sale, but regrettably on this occasion the alternate dates provided were not suitable.

“As they had already started to make preparations for the booking on November 17, they have chosen to move their event to another venue.”

“Colchester Events Company and Colchester Council have invited members of the NCT committee to meet and discuss improved ways of working together in the future, in order to re-establish the previous extremely positive working relationship.”