Knaresborough has been going all-out to rejuvenate its historic market, and today the town joins communities across the UK in supporting ‘love your local market’ fortnight.
Harrogate Borough Council has allocated an advertising budget to promote Knaresborough and Ripon markets, and plans to run activities throughout the year with the market’s working group to draw in more visitors and traders.
But this national fortnight is another way that the council and the working group hopes to raise the profile of the market.
Stray FM will be broadcasting live from the market over the next fortnight, and there will be a digital push to get people talking about Knaresborough market’s offer.
The chair of the market working group, Coun Phil Ireland, said there are hopes for the market to host cooking demonstrations and food tastings, as well as looking at booking children’s entertainers.
He said: “The market is crucial to the economy and the livelihood of Knaresborough. We want to bring more visitors and traders into Knaresborough for the market, and to see what else the town has to offer.
“People go to the market to speak to traders - some who have been there for more than 20 years. Markets create a community atmosphere - the stallholders are more like friends to a lot of the people who go there.”
Mr Ireland said the working group is also looking at the town having tours for visitors setting off from the market to go to the castle and the waterside, to share Knaresborough’s wider visitor offer.
He said: “Knaresborough is steeped in history, and it’s about celebrating that. We’re also looking at getting schools involved, maybe having a competition for pupils to design a poster promoting Knaresborough market.”
The number of market stalls in Knaresborough fell from an average of 71 per week in 2015, to 66 in 2017. Harrogate Borough Council and the Knaresborough market working group said they hope events and campaigns like the love your local market fortnight will help to stop this decline.