Traders at a Cheshire market hall are backing their town’s Royal May Day festival as their community project for 2019. The Market Hall in Knutsford has a

number of fundraising events coming up, including a Win the Market raffle featuring prizes donated by the traders. The town’s May Day Committee secretary,

Eileen Podmore, told local media: “We are so grateful for the support of the Market Hall, both financially and by raising awareness of our cause. “It’s amazing to think our annual festival

Council exploring ways to boost markets Kendal is looking to revitalise its markets (Photo: @Cyprus Pictures)

New ideas to revive the fortunes of a Cumbrian town’s long-established outdoor and indoor markets are to be considered. South Lakeland District councillors have agreed to investigate if there is interest in “an experienced, innovative and well- established operator” running the traditional Wednesday and Saturday street markets in Kendal, along with the indoor market hall at the Westmorland Shopping Centre. The council’s cabinet heard that markets

were “in decline nationally”, but there was potential for the markets in Kendal to “flourish again”. A survey of the markets’ traders found

most were “satisfied” with the quality, layout and location of stalls, but they highlighted a decline in footfall and said the markets needed “fresh impetus in marketing, promotion and branding”

to bring in more shoppers and tourists. Meanwhile, a survey of members of the

public flagged up “a lack of atmosphere” and the need for “a greater variety of stalls”, with more local produce, artisan foods, crafts and gifts, plus specialist themed events. Cllr Jonathan Brook told the cabinet: “It is

not our intention to close the markets and never has been, and the purpose of this exercise is to explore how we can return the market to the flourishing example it once was, and whether changes can be brought about to deliver successful outcomes for the town.” The Kendal Business Improvement District

group has been involved in preliminary talks about rejuvenating the markets, and initial ideas include more food stalls; the possibility of entertainment in the market hall; better signposting; and making the

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touches the lives of so many people in the town, and it’s thanks to the support of local organisations and businesses like the Market Hall that we are able to keep our own very special piece of history going year after year.” A separate fundraiser is taking place at

the Market Hall’s inaugural Supper Club at The Market Café on Thursday April 25.

nearby historic yards feel like part of the Market Place. Brian Harrison, vice-chair of the BID

group, told local media: “Kendal BID is very enthusiastic that Kendal as a market town should have successful and attractive markets. “We are very pleased the council is looking into redesigning and restyling the market offering and we would hope it won’t just be a report they produce, [but] they will actually action it.” Mr Harrison added that Kendal BID

would be “extremely pleased” to see the Wednesday and Saturday street markets become “equally as popular” as the monthly Kendal Farmers’

MARKET TRADER, APRIL 12 - 25, 2019 Traders raise funds for community project Those attending will be treated to a

French menu created from the finest local ingredients on offer from traders in the market hall, and alongside the meal a separate raffle will be drawn, the proceeds of which will be donated to May Day. The Market Hall has also offered the

committee a pop-up stall to sell programmes in the run-up to May Day, which this year takes place on Saturday May 4. Fruit and veg trader Jonty Page told local

media: “May Day weekend for me as a boy was a very magical time. “I would always be up earlier on May

Day to watch the sand artists create their pictures and art work. I couldn’t wait for the procession to start. “It always seemed sunny, and everyone

had big smiles on their faces. I can’t thank the people enough who put on this spectacular event. I’m delighted to be able to support it in this way.”

Market, which is run independently. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in August, the farmers’ market was originally set up by Sarah Williams, who is on its board of trustees. Ms Williams warned that the District

Council should be “very careful” about outsourcing its markets to a private company. “It would be better if they outsource it to

a local group of people who know what is needed,” she told local media. “It needs to be people that love Kendal.” The town’s market charter dates back

to 1189 and was granted by Richard the Lionheart (King Richard I) to generate money for his overseas crusades.

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