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Fakenham's farmers' market announces its closure after nearly 20 years

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Fakenham farmers' market has been forced to close after nearly 20 years of operating in the town.

Over the years, the numbers of stall holders have dwindled and this year has seen trading become increasingly difficult.

On its Facebook page on October 20, a message said: "The organisers of Fakenham Farmers' Market would like to thank traders and customers for their support over many years but in view of recent and ongoing challenges must sadly announce the market has now closed down."

The farmers' market used to meet on the fourth Saturday of every month.

Fakenham town sign (42919744)
Fakenham town sign (42919744)

Ann Chappel founded the farmers' market at a time when she was a town councillor, along with Janet Holdom, who is still serving on the council as deputy town mayor.

Ann, now retired as a town councillor, said: "Recently we have not had that many producers coming in and the public were becoming more and more cautious. If the market doesn't get the support, then it's not going to survive.

"After the foot and mouth crisis, the government was very keen to support farmers, putting money behind them and encouraging markets to start up and we did very well for 12 to 14 years.

"It's really only in the last few years that it has declined. Supermarkets have improved the fruit and veg that they offer. Also with the recession, people have to consider what they are spending.

"The number of farmers' markets increased, so they were set up in village halls, for example, and there became too many of them.

"We set up the farmers' market in the town firstly to help the farmers and secondly to draw people into Fakenham.

"It's sad that the farmers' market has finished but whether it will be revived in the future, we will have to wait and see."

She said that the Thursday markets in the town are "excellent" and are back in full swing trading again.

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