Donations from theatregoers have helped a Ledbury venue reduce its carbon footprint and improve the atmosphere for audiences.

A new air conditioning system has been installed at the town’s Market Theatre, improving the ventilation and providing a more comfortable and safe environment for those attending shows.

The theatre’s old heating system - made up of wall-mounted heaters and wall fans - was difficult to balance and relatively expensive to run.

“When the Market Theatre was first opened 22 years ago, money was tight and corners had to be cut,” said artistic director Paul Graham.

READ MORE: Big Sing back at the Market Theatre

“This resulted in a fairly rudimentary heating and ventilation system that made it very difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in the foyer and auditorium, particularly when there was a full house.”

A grant from Herefordshire Council provided the funds to undertake an energy audit, while the need for a well-ventilated auditorium only increased post-Covid.

Ledbury Reporter: A combination of grants and donations has paid for the new system to be installedA combination of grants and donations has paid for the new system to be installed

LADS (Ledbury Amateur Dramatic Society), which owns and runs the theatre, started raising funds in January and the work itself was completed last month.

“Now, thanks to grants from The Foyle Foundation, The Beckett Bulmer and William A Cadbury Trusts, and donations from supporters of the Theatre including one huge donation, LADS has been able to install an air-source heat pump, air conditioning system throughout the building,” said Mr Graham.

Poetry festival events at Market Theatre

“This will vastly improve the ventilation, provide a much more comfortable and safe environment in which to watch events on stage, and greatly reduce the energy used, thereby improving the theatre’s carbon footprint.

“We now look forward to welcoming audiences old and new, young and old to sample the new atmosphere.”

Upcoming shows at the Market Theatre include several Ledbury Poetry Festival events, including The Ledbury Poetry Slam at 8pm on Saturday, July 9.

READ MORE: The £60,000 investment that will allow Ledbury's Market Theatre to fully reopen

Earlier on Saturday evening, a capella group On That Note take to the Market Theatre stage.

The Scirocco Dance Theatre from London visit on July 16 with their new show Invisible Cities, and on July 21-23 there’ll be a chance to see the latest Market Theatre Showcase production, Spirit Manor.

Head to for tickets.