Tavistock’s new look Guildhall took its first public bow in a low-key event which still managed to attract well in excess of 100 visitors.

The listed building, formerly containing the town’s law courts and police station, which has been converted into a heritage centre interpreting Tavistock’s mining history, is still operating under Covid-19 restrictions.

That means parties and individuals are being escorted around the town’s newest attraction in phased and timed groups to prevent the spread of the virus.

Tavistock Heritage Trust chair Dr Geri Parlby (pictured right with town mayor Andy Hutton and Sandra Jones, vice chair of the Tavistock Heritage Trust), whose organisation has worked with Tavistock Town Council to complete the £1.7m project, said she was pleased with the centre’s first day open to the public.

She said: ‘I’m very pleased - we thought that there might have been people who did not want to come because of the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the pandemic, but we had over a 100, which is excellent.

‘It was a low-key opening, but we are planning to have another one with much more fanfare in the Spring, when everyone is hoping that the problems caused by the pandemic will have eased.’

The opening came as Tavistock councillors heard the project had received the thumbs up from organisations involved in it.

They were told that stakeholders in the project, including some from the National Lottery, which donated a significant portion of money towards the scheme, had approved of the scheme.

Mayor Andy Hutton told his colleagues: ‘I think it (the Guildhall) is a credit to everybody who has been involved in it.’