TAMESIDE’S award-winning markets are getting ready for Love Your Local Markets Fortnight between May 17-31 under the banner Markets Close To Your Heart.
At Hyde, you have a fantastic market hall that not long ago celebrated its 50th birthday with more than 40 stalls including a specialist tripe stall, a deli and a fruit and veg stall, whose family has traded in Hyde for almost 100 years.
Ashton Markets, which includes the historic Victorian market hall that re-opened in 2008 after a devastating fire four years earlier, has 80 indoor stalls and a further 104 pitches outside.
Stalybridge also hosts farmers’ and artisan markets.
Steve Hadfield, who manages the borough’s markets, said: “Love Your Local Markets Fortnight is a time when we make an extra point of inviting people to visit our local markets if they’re not already regular customers.
“It’s a celebration of a really important part of our town centres and communities.
“You can have a really good experience visiting a market. There’s a fantastic choice and a great atmosphere.
“You get dedicated help and support from friendly stallholders, and sometimes you can build lasting friendships.
“There’s a bigger picture, too. When you shop locally, more of the money stays in the local economy than when you shop in supermarkets, so you help sustain local prosperity.
“And when you buy from local butchers, bakers and greengrocers, it’s likely a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. So as well as supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging, and often it helps reduce CO2 emissions and our carbon footprint.”
This year’s Love Your Local Markets Fortnight in Tameside will include a young traders’ event on Saturday, May 25 to encourage young people to consider taking up the market business. Young people who want to trade at Ashton Market that day will get their pitch for free.
Steve explained: “It will be a chance for young people to explore what it means to be a market trader.
“It might be people who are currently trading elsewhere and would like to use the event as a platform to develop their business, or young people who just want to get a feel for the markets trade.
“And for the general public it’s an unusual event, when they’ll have the chance to look at a new set of stalls to browse around.”
Love Your Local Markets Fortnight 2019 is the eighth successive annual event, which was initiated by the National Association of British Markets.
It is an idea that has been so successful it has now been embraced by 24 countries worldwide.
It has been estimated Love Your Local Markets has given more than 11,000 people the chance to sample market trading and at least 1,000 new businesses have been created.