Indoor market returns to Huntingdon

HUNTINGDON’S indoor market returns to the Commemoration Hall on Friday, hoping to emulate the success of its counterpart in St Ives.

HUNTINGDON’S indoor market returns to the Commemoration Hall on Friday, hoping to emulate the success of its counterpart in St Ives.

The 20-stall market will be in Huntingdon every week until the end of the year, and organiser Chris Davis hopes it will prove a fixture in the High Street throughout 2011 too.

He has been encouraged by the example set by St Ives, where the indoor market has flourished since it returned to the refurbished Corn Exchange in July, and hopes that Huntingdon can follow suit.

“This could be really good news for Huntingdon. We hope that the return of the market will bring some more life to the end of the High Street, and perhaps bring it a little more vibrancy,” said Mr Davis.

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The market will be held every Friday, with the last market of the month on a Thursday, offering a variety of craft, bric-a-brac and jewellery stalls. Food and drink at the market will be provided by fellow organiser Netta Plumb.

“Huntingdon has not had an indoor market since 2002, so the important thing is that this becomes a regular event. And we hope that this is going to become the new meeting place for Huntingdon,” said Mr Davis.

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“We want the market to have the cosy, family atmosphere that brings people in and welcomes them.”

The return is a boost to stallholders who have seen the closure of markets in Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket in recent weeks, and have endured pitch-fee rises in Ely.

Mr Davis added: “It’s been a difficult time for stallholders. Times are tough for everyone, but we have lost two markets, and stallholders need to do everything they can to earn a living.

“There are so many premises to let in our towns so, if we can boost trade in the High Street, so much the better.

“Bringing the market to Huntingdon has come about very quickly, but we hope that it can be as successful as the market in St Ives, which is going from strength to strength.”

Sonia Hansen, Huntingdonshire District Council’s street scene manager, said the return of the market could have positive repercussions.

“Anything that brings more people into Huntingdon on a regular basis can only be a good thing for the other stalls, shops and businesses in the town. Attractions that increase footfall will have a beneficial effect on others too.”

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