POPULAR events venue Easterbrook Hall will not reopen this year because of Covid-19, it has been announced.
All public events for this year and early next year have been cancelled and chief executive of The Crichton Trust Gwilym Gibbons has said it will be closed until the end of March 2021.
In a statement, Mr Gibbons said: “In terms of Easterbrook Hall we’ve made a difficult decision not to reopen for public events until the end of March 2021.
“At the moment we can’t see any certainty on how we can bring large numbers together safely.
“We’re very pleased that we are able to use the venue though to support the response to coronavirus.
“In particular, Dumfries and Galloway Council are making good use of the venue for their meetings so we can support elected members to physically distance when they’re supporting all the key decision making for the region at this time.”
The facility’s kitchen and fridges are being used for food packages and as tenants prepare to return to the multiple buildings on the estate, cleaning staff are being brought out of furlough for deep and on-going cleaning.
He also explained that construction work is well underway on Crichton Central, the previous location of Fresco’s cafe.
The building will be refurbished to provide a large indoor space and an outdoor covered space with power and broadband.
The work is possible thanks to a grant from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP) and it is anticipated Crichton Central will open early next year.
Mr Gibbons also encouraged people to enjoy the Crichton grounds and gardens, but to be mindful of social distancing, as well as the recently re-opened Easterbrook Bistro.