BOSSES at an Essex estate have vowed to “support” couples who have had their weddings cancelled.

Markshall Estate, near Coggeshall, will no longer hold weddings from October 1, according to an official announcement made on Tuesday morning.

Bosses at the venue have cited loss of earnings during the coronavirus pandemic – and the pressures of inflation as the reasons behind the decision.

The estate has now confirmed it has had to cancel a total of 36 weddings.

A spokesman said: “We are very sorry that Markshall has had to make the difficult decision to cease holding weddings from October 1.

“As a charity we have to respond to the cultural and economic changes that are happening around us and operate in a way that ensures our longterm future.

“The couples of the 36 weddings affected have been contacted. We understand that this will be very disappointing and upsetting for those concerned.

“The weddings team will continue to support them while finding alternative locations.”

Other aspects of the business including the Markshall Visitor Centre, Orchard Kitchen and the Arboretum remain open to customers and visitors.

The spokesman added: “Markshall Visitor Centre, Orchard Kitchen and the Arboretum continues to thrive and will remain open as usual.

“We have recently announced the opening of a new adventure play area and school holiday events called Percy’s Adventures which delivers educational activities and content in an innovative, entertaining way.”

Clarification: A story in yesterday’s Gazette incorrectly said that some other areas of the business were closing too.

We would like to clarify that other areas of the estate, including the Orchard Kitchen, Arboretum, lakes, and woodland walks, are remaining open, we are told, and will continue to operate as normal.

We apologise for the error.