COUNTRYFILE Live will be leaving Blenheim, it has now been confirmed.

As reported first by the Oxford Mail last week, organisers were looking for a new location for the annual event following criticism from exhibitors and locals.

Next year it will be held at Windsor Great Park, it can be revealed today.

In a statement sent to the Mail yesterday, Tim Etchells, event director at SME London, which organises the event, said: "After four great years at Blenheim Palace, where we welcomed over 400,000 visitors, we felt the time was right to move to a new venue where we can continue to build on the show and attract new audiences to join our loyal Oxfordshire visitors who have joined us each year. We are very excited about our move to Windsor Great Park and its spectacular parkland setting.”

The news that Countryfile Live was looking to leave Blenheim first came to light when exhibitors contacted the Oxford Mail after the event. They said that when event representatives had asked them to book a pitch for next year, they could not confirm it would be back at Blenheim.

Hundreds of businesses took exhibition stands at the stately home in Woodstock earlier this month where, for the fourth year running, stars of the BBC TV show headlined the country pursuits showcase.

But some exhibitors expressed disappointment about where their stands were positioned at the four-day festival.

Monica Brown, who runs Northamptonshire-based Happy Herefords, was selling beefburgers with raclette cheese at the Blenheim event.

She told the Mail she was heading to Castle Howard t the weekend, for the second Countryfile Live event, to try to make up 'losses she incurred' at the palace.

Ms Brown added: "A lot of the exhibitors were furious because they felt the show had been a disaster – perhaps the tickets cost too much.

"Some exhibitors said they had been told Countryfile would now switch to Windsor. It cost us £1,500 to exhibit and we took next to no money."

Reaction from residents to the news has been largely mixed. Participants in an Oxford Mail online poll narrowly voted that Countryfile Live was 'more trouble than it's worth' (53 per cent).

One reader said: "Can't believe the whinging and whining. People hoping an annual event that brings much needed income into Oxfordshire would pack up and go elsewhere! How utterly pathetic! Hard working people attend these events to sell their goods. The palace should take steps to do everything it can to keep the event here by reducing exhibitor prices. Part of the issue is that there is now a Christmas event, the Food event plus other events where the same exhibitors attend.

Dominic Hare, CEO at Blenheim, said: "It has been a real privilege to be part of Countryfile Live over the past four years. Together with the team, we have generated millions of pounds for the local economy. The show and its team go to its new home with our gratitude and very best wishes for the future."