Further growth planned for Hadleigh Market - what would you like to see?
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Work is underway to help Hadleigh Market expand in future following a number of years of increasing popularity.
Babergh District Council confirmed that future growth was among its ambitions for the market, having helped double the number of stalls in the last few years, and demand on the food stalls during the coronavirus lockdown demonstrated its importance for the town.
Council bosses said that the short term focus was on sustaining the market, but work was underway for future growth.
A spokeswoman from the council said: “Babergh District Council in partnership with Suffolk Market Events took over the running of Hadleigh Market in 2016 with an ambition of creating a sustainable market that would add value to the overall retail offer in the town.
“Over the last few years, the number of market stalls has more than doubled and now offers a range of quality food stalls, a popular refill stall as well as a variety of occasional traders selling a wide range of products.
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“The market also welcomes a coffee pod providing refreshments to the community and visitors.
“The popularity of the market over the last couple of years meant there was a continued demand throughout the recent lockdown period with essential food stalls continuing to trade while maintaining safe social distancing.
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“Now that lockdown measures are easing, the remaining non-essential food stalls are returning to the market.
“Due to the current impact of Covid-19, the focus in the short term will be on sustaining the market for the local community before exploring different opportunities to grow the market in the longer term.”
The market currently runs from 9am-2pm on Fridays, although it is not yet clear whether future growth would be for more stalls or additional market days.
The council has spent nearly £22,000 in the last two years on work exploring growth opportunities for the market, according to latest finance data.
The market normally has up to a dozen stalls but this has been reduced to around half that because of distancing rules during the coronavirus crisis.
Market bosses on the website said the market has been “providing a vital service to our community in Hadleigh and surrounding towns and villages” during Covid-19.