Although there has been a market at West Clewes for the last 25 years, it has declined in recent years largely due to a lack of investment and promotion. Beginning with a grant of £500 to purchase banners and new signage and the decision to purchase market stalls, the Town Council is hoping to breathe new life into the Thursday Market.
“The West Clewes is ideal for a market since the car park was re-surfaced. Shoppers can pop in, park, shop and soon be on their way between 7am and 3pm – whether on their way to work or just popping into town. Already the number of stalls is increasing, offering goods ranging from fresh veg to pot plants and fresh meat to hardware. Over the coming months we hope to attract more stalls but still leaving space for people attending the market to park”, said Andy Payne.
However, the strategy reviving the market is much more behind it than nostalgia. Market stalls have been shown to expand a town’s retail offering to local shoppers. In addition, being able to hire a stall for a day offers an excellent opportunity to encourage new retailers to start new businesses or re-locate to the town, who might in time grow and develop to take leases on empty shop premises.
The newly launched Thursday Market will be managed by the Midsomer Norton Community Trust on behalf of the Midsomer Norton Recreation Ground Trust which holds the West Clewes Recreation Ground in Charitable Trust for the benefit of local residents. In this way any surplus income can be ploughed back to help improve facilities at West Clewes for the benefit of the community.
In addition, work is already in hand to build on the monthly Farmer’s Market in the Hollies which recently celebrated its 10th birthday. As well as the new Vintage Market it is hoped to attract two more markets in order to achieve a Saturday market every week.
Anyone interested in having a stall at the Thursday Market or running a market or having a stall in the Hollies – please contact Alex at the Midsomer Norton Community Trust on 01761 419133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org