Wellingborough market is hosting a number of competitions and activities over the next two weeks as part of the national Love Your Local Market campaign.
A market loyalty card was launched on Wednesday 13 May to start the campaign. People shopping at the market during the next fortnight will have their cards signed and dated by traders. Once they have three different signatures and dates they will be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 fruit and veg basket.
There’s plenty for the kids to do as well, with half term fun planned from Saturday 23 May. Drawing competition sheets can be picked up from the stalls and children are being asked to imagine being a market trader and show what they would sell. The winning entry will be awarded a £20 voucher for Captain Neil’s Toy Chest, with the runner up getting a £10 voucher.
On both Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 May there will also be a free bouncy castle to keep the kids entertained.
Love Your Local Market is now in its fourth year. Last year more than 900 markets around the country took part, running events and activities to encourage more traders and shoppers to support their local market.
Stephen Dunkley from Wellingborough Norse, who manages the market on behalf of the council, said: "Like many markets, Wellingborough Market has struggled a bit over the past few years. The Love Your Local Market campaign, which is backed by the government and led by the National Association of British Market Authorities, is trying to bring shoppers back to markets all over the country.
"The campaign runs for a fortnight, with events and national publicity designed to celebrate and highlight the importance of markets to the local economy and the community.
"We’re delighted to be taking part once again, and we’re running a number of activities to encourage more people to come up to the market and have a look round. The campaign takes place over half term, so it’s a perfect opportunity to put on events for the kids. While the children are enjoying the free bouncy castle or taking part in our colouring competition, we hope their parents will browse the stalls and discover just how much our market has to offer.
"The more shoppers we get, the more we can encourage traders to take up a stall. It all helps our market to grow."
Graham Wilson OBE, chief executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities, said: "Love Your Local Market is the biggest market event in a generation. It gives people the chance of a new career and demonstrates how important the market is to the local community."
Wellingborough’s market stalls are 6ft by 3ft, covered, and with lighting and electricity. General market trading days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and anyone interested in becoming a trader should visit www.wellingborough.gov.uk/market for more information.
The Love Your Local Market campaign runs until 27 May.