A charity fundraising farmers’ market’s future could be in doubt if more stallholders and customers for its stalls cannot be drummed up.
Towcester Farmers’ Market has been run by the Towcester Lions for the past four or five years. The market was handed over to the group by South Northants Council to cut costs.
Now market organiser Trevor Watts fears the market could come to an end if the town does not support it.
He said: “Four years ago there was about 20 stalls, now there are about nine or 10. The recession has given people the squeeze. the footfall in Towcester has moved because most of the shopping is on the outskirts of the town centre. The small ones like ours do struggle.”
Mr Watts added that the markets’ location, tucked behind the High Street in a car park, and day of operation, the second Friday in each month, had not helped.
He said: “The timing and the place is not changeable. We are stuck with it, there is nowhere else to go.”
Mr Watts said it costs around £300 to stage the marjet each month, including power, water and insurance costs. If it got to the point where the market was not turning a profit it would not be viable to continue.
He said: “We use the money we raise to support local charities, so it is a very good cause. at the momemt we are happy, as long as we can get an income more than our cost to run it.”
Ideally the Lions would like to attract another five traders to join the market.
Currently, local producers and farmers are encouraged to set up stall with the majority of the stallholders coming froma 20-mile radius of the town.
Mr Watts said: “The problem is to get 15 traders you end up with some competing with other traders. We are trying to keep it as a farmers’ marketbut in a small market you can only really have one of each product.”
Mr Watts said around 10 volunteers were involved in the setting up of the market and, as with all the Lions members, these volunteers were not getting any younger.
He appealed for new members, community-minded people willing to help out, to consider joining Towcester Lions.
He said: “It is a good organisation but we do work hard.”
Towcester’s Farmers’ Market will be held today, Friday, at Richmond Road car park from 9.15am-1.15pm.
If you would like to hold a stall contact Mr Watts on 01327 830583 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org