The return of a popular rally to Ledbury will be a boost to the High Street and help put Ledbury on the map, according to traders.

The town plays host to the Three Shires Stages Rally, organised by Cheltenham Motor Club, on the weekend of September 17 and 18.

Previous rallies were based at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern but this year’s rally HQ and service park will be at HJ Pugh & Co Auction Centre, off Ross Road in Ledbury.

Organisers have said they are also looking at opportunities to provide camping facilities nearby and will give further details closer to the event.

Last year’s event saw 140 cars racing on 66 miles of closed roads in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

Ledbury High Street was also closed for a number of hours for the rally’s ceremonial start, which sees the competitors line up before passing a start ramp.

Laura Panter, who runs The Ledbury Pet Co. in Homend Mews, said: “Living in Ledbury, it was lovely to see so many people lining the streets to support it. And it does a lot of good for a lot of businesses, with people popping into cafes and shops etc while they’re in town.”

Ledbury Reporter: Ledbury High Street was lined with people for the ceremonial start of last year's Three Shires Stages RallyLedbury High Street was lined with people for the ceremonial start of last year's Three Shires Stages Rally

Annette Crowe, of Past & Present jewellers, said the shop didn’t see any direct benefit from the rally last year as it closed before the ceremonial start took place in the High Street.

But she said: “It is the kind of event that puts Ledbury on the map.

“When people come to Ledbury and see how beautiful it is, they tend to come back. All events are good events as far as I’m concerned.”

Councillor Phillip Howells, Ledbury's acting mayor, said: "Ledbury Town Council is fully supportive of this exciting event coming into the town.

"It is full of drama, brings people into the town and is good for business."

Provisional stage times and a draft stage map, indicating which roads will need to be closed, will be available for residents to see at a number of ‘Meet us’ sessions being run by Cheltenham Motor Club over the coming weeks.

Sessions will take place at Upleadon Village Hall on Saturday, May 7 between 11am and 2pm, and at Ledbury’s town centre market on Saturday, May 14 from 9am onwards. More sessions will be announced on the motor club website and Facebook page.

A letter from the motor club shared by Ledbury Town Council says roads will be closed between 6am and 8pm on the day of the rally, but that residents will be allowed access at times throughout the day.