No threat to Swaffham market, says town council

Fish and Chip Shops in Swaffham Town Centre''Sea Star Fish (Market Place) ENGANL00120130506140005
Fish and Chip Shops in Swaffham Town Centre''Sea Star Fish (Market Place) ENGANL00120130506140005

Officials have insisted there is no threat to the immediate future of Swaffham’s market, despite reporting declining stall numbers and trading space.

Town council chiefs say they intend to spend more on promoting the weekly events in a bid to reverse the trend.

But one of its regular traders says he has diversified his business because of his concerns about the longer term trend.

A report presented to town councillors at a meeting last month said there was a “downward trend” in both the number of stalls trading and the amount of space occupied by them.

But the authority is planning to spend £1,000 on advertising and promotional activities during the forthcoming financial year, substantially higher than this year.

And town clerk Richard Bishop said this week: “There is no doubt that Swaffham’s market will be in existence next year and for the forseeable future.”

Regular town trader Lee Martin, of Norfolk Produce, agreed that the council needed to do more to promote the market.

But he said he was now supplying produce to shops and restaurants across the area as well as attending the weekly market, because of his concerns for the longer term trend, which he believes is affecting the industry as a whole.

He said he believed the market was dying, but added: “The reason it’s dying is it’s a dying trade.”