Visitors to Ripon Market are in for a treat on Thursday 21 May with a day of entertainment planned to celebrate the national ‘Love Your Local Market’ fortnight (13-27 May) and the official opening of the exciting new market layout.
Ripon Market will be joining over 1,000 markets across the country by taking part in ‘Love Your Local Market’ events. Started in 2012 amidst fears around the sustainability of our nation’s high streets, ‘Love Your Local Market’ participants have staged over 11,000 events highlighting the importance that our market plays in the heart of our communities, not only for retail but as valuable community assets that provide a focal point.
Entertainment on the day will include performances by the Rhythm Deluxe Jazz Band Quartet and children of Class Four from St Wilfred’s Catholic Primary School Choir. There will also be a range of demonstrations from traders including Sri Lankan cookery, cake decorating, floral art and hanging basket design.
Graham Wilson OBE, Chief Executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities says: Love Your Local Market is the biggest market event in a generation. It gives people the chance of a new career and demonstrates how important the market is to the local community. With the financial backing of the Government and our headline sponsor HMY Radford we intend to make Love Your Local Market 2015 once again the biggest and best markets campaign UK has ever seen.
The day will also mark the official opening of the new look market which has been designed to enhance the customer experience, increase footfall and entice new traders to the market.
Earlier this year, a nine week trial was held to gauge customer and trader opinion on the revamped layout for 76 stalls, which would improve the flow of shoppers, provide more space to sit and relax and encourage the public to explore all the stalls.
The decision to revamp the market was made following an increase in the number of unoccupied stalls which had begun to spoil the market’s appearance. It was felt that redesigning the layout would increase the markets appeal and encourage more people to visit.
Following several consultation meetings with the traders, Harrogate Borough Council, Greater Ripon Improvement Partnership and Ripon City Council, the decision was made to open up the southerly end of the market nearest the Town Hall and move the market stalls mainly to the northerly end above the Obelisk, which is less prone to strong winds. After receiving positive feedback from both traders and customers, the proposal is to introduce the layout permanently.
To encourage new traders, the council offers incentivised stalls for £10 per week for the first three consecutive weeks, so it is hoped that with the new layout and this excellent start up offer, more traders will come, enhancing the shopping experience.
Harrogate Borough Council Leader, Councillor Richard Cooper said: Ripon Market is an integral part of city life and it is important that we do all we can to ensure that it continues to flourish both now and in the future. Today’s markets are seeing something of a revival in fortunes with many shoppers forsaking the supermarket and returning to smaller local businesses. ‘Love Your Local Market’ is a wonderful way of highlighting the market’s value to the community and visitors will undoubtedly enjoy some wonderful entertainment on the day.
It also provides the perfect opportunity to launch the new look market, which has already proven to be a great success during its nine week trial. The market is easier to get around, looks as though it has more stalls and is enticing even more people to visit and experience all it has to offer.
For more information on ‘Love Your Local Market’ visit: www.loveyourlocalmarket.org.uk