Stalham market revival launched
Despite heavy rain, there were cheery faces all round when an initiative to revitalise Stalham market was unveiled this week.On Tuesday, the town's traditional market day, six new stall holders joined regular traders to pitch up on the town's High Street car park.
Despite heavy rain, there were cheery faces all round when an initiative to revitalise Stalham market was unveiled this week.
On Tuesday, the town's traditional market day, six new stall holders joined regular traders to pitch up on the town's High Street car park.
It was the culmination of a three-month initiative - led by the Stalham with Happing Partnership - to get new stalls on the market, which was downsized when Tesco created a new store on the edge of the High Street in November 2002.
Michael Castle, from the partnership, said: “At Christmas time the number of stalls in the market had got down to around three or four and it was looking quite bleak; some people were asking how long the market would last if it went on like that.”
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The partnership stepped in to help with support from Business Link, a business advice and support service, and Norfolk County Council, who offered anyone interested in taking on a pitch a training session on running a stall.
Those interested were also able to claim up to �200 in vouchers for one-to-one business advice and were also given stall equipment, including tarpaulin, from the partnership.
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Mr Castle added: “We are really quite excited to see the new stalls on the market; we are hoping even more people will be coming in during Easter. We hope this will put Stalham market back on the map.”
Nick Page, 40, from Stalham, who works as a chef, was one of the new stallholders, selling knick-knacks including bio-degradable bags and scarves.
He said: “We moved here about five years ago and we heard from people about how great the market used to be.
“I think it is a great idea to start trying to expand it again. I hope people in the area will warm to it and start using the market again.”
Another of the new stallholders is county councillor for the south Smallburgh division, Paul Rice, 51, who lives in Potter Heigham and who is specialising in selling model railway items.
He said: “I think this is the perfect time to start expanding the market, with Easter coming up. It is good to see the market start re-generating.”
New stallholders include a hairdresser and others selling confectionary, crystals and herbal teas, football memorabilia, wooden crafts and bygones and collectables.
Two more stalls are joining the market during May.