Market proving to be ‘a lifeline’ for villagers amid cuts to public transport

THRIVING: Hemingford's village market has been running for six months

THRIVING: Hemingford's village market has been running for six months - Credit: Archant

A village market is acting as a lifeline for residents who are unable to get to neighbouring towns for shopping because of poor public transport.

Now Hemingford Village Market, at Hemingford Grey, is celebrating the success of its first six months in business.

Maria Needham, who is behind the market, said the idea was to provide both an outlet for local small businesses and to help the local community.

“The market was started to create a regular shopping event for residents who struggle to get to outlying towns due to a lack of public transport and to give small businesses and entrepreneurs somewhere regular to sell their goods,” she said.

“The market has proved a great success and is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of local organisations and schemes there to help residents, such as Neighbourhood Watch, and Huntingdonshire Association for Community Transport.”

Maria, who runs her own floristry business, said: “Hemingford Grey Parish Council holds a monthly surgery at the market for local residents to meet councillors and discuss relevant issues.

“A recent visit from the A14 mobile exhibition centre proved to be a great hit with local residents.”

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The market has also become a meeting point.

Maria said: “I thought the idea of a community market was quite a nice one and we do get the regulars who come along.”

She said the market also benefits local businesses, with a free entrepreneurs stall available for anyone who has started a business in the last six months and who has connections to the Hemingfords.

There is also a free charity stall available to local charities who want to raise their profile or raise some funds.

Maria said the market was held at the parish centre on the second Saturday of the month and ran between 9am and 1pm. It had a range of food and craft stalls, with new stalls attending each month. Local growers are also encouraged to contact the market to sell excess fruit and vegetables.

She said the market also benefited from having the on-site not-for-profit community cafe.