GOODWOOD Festival of Speed will go ahead next month as part of a government pilot programme into mass gatherings.

The historic racing event has been given the green light to go ahead as planned from July 8-11, as it is chosen to be part of the Events Research Programme (ERP) as a pilot event.

It means petrolheads attending the event need will have to agree to the conditions of entry set out by the programme to attend the festival.

This will include either having had both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before the event, or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test, which can be taken at home or at a recognised centre free of charge, within 48 hours of the event.

Writing on the Goodwood website, a spokesman said: "Here at Goodwood, we are pleased that the national lockdown restrictions continue to ease and parts of the estate have been able to re-open.

"We are very much looking forward to being able to welcome all our members, visitors and guests back to the estate over the coming months.

"Further to the announcement from the Prime Minister on June 14, and the latest information on the delay to Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown, we want to let you know what this means for visitors to the Goodwood Estate.

The Argus: Former McLaren driver Jenson Button as Goodwood Festival of Speed Former McLaren driver Jenson Button as Goodwood Festival of Speed

"Goodwood is pleased to confirm that the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard will now form part of the Events Research Programme (ERP) as a pilot event.

"The event will take place as planned from 8 - 11 July."

Such pilot events have been hailed as "a real success", after test events in May saw 58,000 people take part, with just 15 positive cases of Covid-19, according to the Culture Secretary.

Oliver Dowden hailed the UK’s Covid test events which included a reduced-capacity FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium and a nightclub opening in Liverpool, as a “real success”.

The Brit Awards on May 11 took place as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme and was the first large-scale indoor music event of the year.

The ceremony, which included performances by Dua Lipa and Sir Elton John, featured an audience of 4,000 people at the O2 Arena.

No cases emerged from the event where audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated.

Crowds at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield were increased as the tournament progressed, culminating in a full house for the final on May 2 and 3.

Just four cases of Covid occurred across the 17 days of the championships.

Two cases were recorded after around 5,000 people packed into Sefton Park in Liverpool in May for an outdoor gig, which included performances from Blossoms, The Lathums and local singer-songwriter Zuzu.