Public support for the return of markets in Hednesford has led to a series of artisan events being planned around key dates in the town, starting early next year.
Residents and traders have long championed the idea of bringing a market back to Market Street, as a way of attracting new shoppers to the area and to provide a boost to the town’s economy.
So far, dates have been set for four markets, set around key events on the Hednesford calendar. They will be themed, and offer a chance to showcase the excellent range of produce available from around the locality, from fresh seasonal farmers’ goods to unique arts and crafts, along with street food and some speciality goods.
Councillor Paul Woodhead, who represents Hednesford South on Cannock Chase District Council, and is vice chair of the Hednesford in Partnership group, said he believes the market is an important step forward for the community, following from the retail developments on Victoria Street and the re-invigoration of the park in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“The artisan market will build on the vitality which is returning to the town,” he said. “Part of the vision is to attract visitors and residents alike, and establishing these seasonal events will bring a welcome boost to the local economy.
“This is something that our entire community has been seeking for quite some time, and we hope that everyone will put these dates in their diaries and come along, helping to make the markets a success, and a fixture in the town for many years to come.”
The market is planned to link to four key dates through the year – Valentine’s Day, with an event on Saturday, February 11, Staffordshire Day, with stalls on Saturday, April 29, the Summer Festival on Saturday, August 12 and the 2017 Christmas Light Switch-on, with a market the following day, on Saturday, December 2.
Russell Dean, operations manager of Sketts, who will organise the markets, believes the town will be an ideal location for them.
“There’s a great community spirit in the area and with the backing of the local groups I am sure each event will be successful and a benefit to the whole town,” he said.
Stef Cunningham, who runs the Kitchen Cupboard in Market Street, and is chair of the Hednesford Traders Association, said she and her members welcome the market plans.
“This is just the addition we need for our town, and I am sure it will bring a buzz to Market Street for the benefit of shoppers and traders, as well as bringing more visitors from the town and further afield in to our community,” she said.