Torridge District Council has launched a campaign aimed at gathering the views of residents to shape and support the planned development of a more vibrant, varied range of markets and events across the district. The work is part of an economic regeneration strand that has been funded through the Governments Shared Prosperity Fund administered through the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra). Under the scheme a small sum has been earmarked for a market development feasibility study.
The majority of Torridge’s major towns already operate permanent weekly, seasonal or ad-hoc markets from both traditional locations such as the pannier markets in Bideford and Great Torrington or stall based markets in Holsworthy, Hartland and Appledore. Bideford quay has also been home to a farmers’ market for many years and lately the site for an expansion into food fests and fairs as part of the Discover Bideford regeneration project. Many of the current markets are food based and have helped local producers find a new outlet for their products and allowed them to expand their ranges and reach. They have also helped to generate local jobs, not just directly, but also through periphery opportunities such as new IT and decentralised technology solutions. Markets continue to be a cheaper or low cost way for entrepreneurs to test a new concept, product or launch a new business model. Amongst other benefits markets can also make the region more attractive to visitors and investors as well as protecting the local environment by a tendency to localise travel and supply chains.
Torridge’s goal is to build on the vibrancy that markets can generate for communities but are keen to find out what type of markets people would like to see, how frequent, and where these might be located in the future. The survey is being launched this week and will run until 7th July 2023. As well as collecting people’s views on how the market scene across Torridge should develop the council are also keen for existing or would be market organisers to get in touch to discuss their ideas as well. The results will be used to produce a strategy and support package for markets stretching through to 2025. The survey can be found at https://forms.office.com/e/YGNugpNWKT
Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:
“Markets were traditionally the backbone of many economies in the past so its good to see them making a resurgence in recent years. The benefits for our local economy and as an additional outlet for our important farming and food producing sectors is clear, but we also want to capitalise on other opportunities. These might be linked to entertainment and periphery events as well as food and product stalls that combine to act as a bigger draw and opportunity for businesses and towns to grow. The more feedback we have the more detail we can put into our plans so we are encouraging as many people as possible to tell us what they would like to see.”