Advanced plans to re-open Ledbury's Market Theatre were put on hold this week, because of the national lockdown.

The theatre, off Market Street, is the base of Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS), one of the community cornerstones of Ledbury.

The market town's only theatre is also important in that it hosts both amateur and professional productions; but the Covid crisis has thrown established plans into disarray.

In September, the theatre management announced that the venue would not be opening until 2021 and that, for the first time in four decades, the LADS popular annual pantomime would not be taking place in the New Year.

But behind the scenes, as late as last week, work was ongoing to see what might be done to get the theatre open again.

The theatre's artistic director, Paul Graham said: "We were hoping that this week we would have been able to have a dummy run prior to re-opening the theatre to the public. But because of the lockdown this will not now be able to happen.

"LADS has gone the extra mile to make the theatre safe by, amongst many other action, purchasing a disinfecting fogging machine, new signage, socially distanced seating, revisions to auditorium lighting and ventilation, and reorganising the ingress and egress of the audience.

"We have also retrained our front of house volunteers."

But looking to after the latest lockdown, the theatre management remain optimistic.

Mr Graham said: "We are very sorry that we will have to postpone our dummy run. But come December, hopefully we will be able to try again, following which thought can be given to reopening to the public."

For other Ledbury attractions, such as the Heritage Centre in Church Lane, the tourist season is now over, with or without the Covid crisis. But a similar cautious note of optimism is being struck for the future.

Heritage Centre spokesperson, Sally Holliday said: "We've had a short but successful season at the Heritage Centre this year thanks to our loyal band of brilliant volunteers. We could only open for three days a week instead of the usual seven and for four hours a day instead of six. We hope to open, as usual at the beginning of April 2021 but that will depend on the Covid situation at the time. We may need to restrict our opening times again."