Attempts to revitalise Spalding’s market town credentials are set to get under way this weekend with an event aimed at bringing new businesses onto the streets.
Love Your Local Market is to be launched this Saturday with an auction for Spalding Rotary Club’s Two Lips appeal, live music from Spalding Marching Ambassadors and the cast from Acorn Antiques, Spalding Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society’s production which opens at South Holland Centre on May 21.
The campaign to raise the profile of street markets and increase their use by shoppers and traders is being run by South Holland District Council and is part of a national Love Your Local Market fortnight which has the support of more than 500 markets across the country.
People interested in starting their own business, existing traders and other groups are being encouraged to take up a market stall in Spalding on Saturday, May 18 and 25, with some being offered free of charge.
Barry Bradley, markets manager for South Holland District Council, said: “This is the first year we’ve been involved in the campaign and we’re mainly concentrating on making the Saturday market in Spalding bigger.
“But we’re hoping to build it up year on year and promote it in the other market towns of South Holland next year.
“The main aim is to get new traders on Saturdays, especially young people, to show them the advantages of coming on the market.
“We’re offering deals to new starters where they will pay a month’s fees and have a month free and we’re asking our existing traders to give out promotional merchandise from their stalls during the fortnight.
“The other aim is to get the council, market people and retailers working together because of the benefits that can be gained by all parties.”
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, cabinet member for operational planning, said: “South Holland District Council is participating in a nationwide campaign called Love Your Local Market.
“As well as raising the profile of street markets, the idea is also to increase the use of markets by both shoppers and traders as many of today’s succcessful businesses had their origins in a street market stall.
“We are keen to encourage local people to have a go at market trading by offering a free market stall during Love Your Local Market fortnight, as well as helping established local businesses raise their profile using a market stall.”
People can donate items for the Rotary Club’s Two Lips auction on May 18 and 25 between 7.30am and 9.30am, with the event starting at 10am.