A SCHEME to turn people with retail ideas into market traders – at least as a starting point – could win Huntingdonshire District Council a national award.

The council's advice service for potential market traders is already joint regional winner of this year's Action for Market Towns awards and is in line to be selected on July 8 as the East of England's entry to the national awards, to be held in Ludlow in October.

HDC's 'Make it your Market' programme combines free advice on how to set up your own market trader business, with discounts on market stall pitches and the free loan of market stall equipment. It offers tailor-made start-up advice for potential market traders and removes barriers.

The scheme, which aims to bring new blood to the district's four markets as older traders retire, has attracted around 15 new people as stall-holders.