A DANCE festival has been cancelled due to safety concerns about protests in the city centre.

The English Defence League will hold a demonstration in Worcester tomorrow over plans to build a £3million mosque in Stanley Road, Worcester.

Two counter protests are due to take place in response to the rally.

Dancefest has now decided to axe its performance festival, called Watch Out Worcester, because of the demonstrations.

A statement on the organisation's website said: "With huge regret, we have taken the very difficult decision to cancel Watch Out Worcester tomorrow.

"In light of protests taking place in Worcester city centre, the safety of those taking part and watching has to be our priority.

"Massive thanks to all the artists and organisations who have been working so hard with us on this afternoon of free art.

"We are very sorry and sad that the event is unable to go ahead, but we hope to work with them again in the future."

Worcester Trades Union Council (WTUC), which has organised one of the counter protests, said it only just found out about the dance festival.

The group insisted that its counter protesters posed no threat to the dancers.

A spokesman added: “WTUC regards this as very regrettable and appreciate that staff and students will be bitterly disappointed that they have not been able to share the product of their hard work.

“Rally organisers had not been advised that there would be elements of the dance festival at the site of the rally.

“The organisers of the rally do not plan to move from that location. The rally is planned to be static and peaceful.

“The rally poses no threat to the dance festival.”

The WTUC rally will start in the Cornmarket at 1pm, while the EDL's protest begins at 1.30pm in the city centre.

Another counter protest is set to take place next to the Edward Elgar statue in Worcester's High Street at 1.30pm.