This year’s Castle Douglas Soap Box Derby has been cancelled.

The popular event was due to return to King Street in July after being called off last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But with the outlook still uncertain, organisers have decided to pull the plug now and focus their efforts on 2022.

One of the organisers Matt Mckerlie said: “It’s not a decision we wanted to make but it’s the right one as the safety of everyone is paramount.

“With the team we have and the crowds we had the last time we couldn’t do it with social distancing.

“Even if we ran it down an empty street we wouldn’t be able to do it.

“We were just at the stage of trying to sort things and we thought it was better to make the decision now. It also gives us a bit of a break, five or six of us are key workers and a few people are self employed.

“It’s disappointing but it is what it is. Hopefully we are in a better position next year and can come back bigger and better.

“People who had signed up for entries, stalls and advertising will have that rolled over to next year, just as they were due to have this year, or they can choose to cancel if they wish.

“It also gives people plenty of time to work on their cars - we’ll probably open entries soon to encourage people to take

Thousands of people turned out to enjoy the first soap box derby in 2019 with home-made racers tackling the course in the centre of the town.

And even though the coronavirus crisis means there will be at least a three year wait for a second event, support in the town remains strong.

Matt added: “Our fundraising activities will continue. My sister and mum came on board just after te last event and I left them to it.

“We are hoping to run our Christmas fun run again but we’d hoped to do that last year and had to cancel it.”