Framlingham's market hours extended

A COUNTRY town's market has proved so popular with shoppers and traders alike that its hours are being extended.

David Green

A COUNTRY town's market has proved so popular with shoppers and traders alike that its hours are being extended.

The Tuesday market at Framlingham was introduced by the town council about five years ago to try to bring more people into the shopping centre on what was traditionally a quiet day.

It has now grown so much in popularity that the town council recently considered extending its opening hours from 6am until 6pm, closing three hours later than present - in line with the town's Saturday market which was established many years ago and which is a much bigger event.

However, after town clerk, Eileen Coe, consulted market traders, it has now been decided to extend the Tuesday market by just one hour, to 4pm, for a trial period.

Mrs Coe said the Framlingham markets - which are held on the car park at Market Hill - were very popular with shoppers from over a large area and, for the first time in her memory, there was currently a waiting list to have stalls on the Saturday.

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“They are essentially local produce markets and more people are becoming interested in buying locally produced food,” she said.

Stephanie Bennell, town council chairman, said: “It is felt that the Tuesday market has grown in popularity and there is a demand by customers for a longer market period.”

However, the council recognised the need for parking and the general lack of parking facilities in the town and, therefore, it was decided the market would not encroach further than the allocated space it now takes up.

Ms Bennell said councillors had decided the extension of hours for the Tuesday market, which currently sells meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, ice cream and refreshments, would be on a trial basis.

“This was after careful consideration of comments received from shoppers, market traders, and owners of shops and other businesses on Market Hill,” she added.

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