Village centre farmers markets
- Published 14/02/11 7:00 am
Walton Lea Project, which also runs the Long Lane Garden Centre in Warrington, plans to hold the markets on the last Sunday of the month, starting on April 24 or May 29, in Victoria Square.
The charity, which offers supported employment and training to adults with learning disabilities, previously ran farmers markets at Walton Gardens and the Scout Hut in Stockton Heath.
Kate Fitch, the project's horticulturist, said the farmers market successfully ran at Walton Gardens for two years. Following proposed redevelopment of the site, the market found a new home at the scout hut in Parkgate Road.
"We went to the scout hut for three or four months, but there was not the same footfall as we were a bit too far out of the area," she told Stockton Heath Parish Council.
The project had been approached a few months earlier by the parish council to see whether it would consider running a farmers market in the village.
Mrs Fitch told members she had met the Warrington Market manager who had said he had no objection to the market operating on Sundays, but could have problems with it operating on any other day.
She said there were plans to have between eight and 10 stalls and she had up to 15 possible traders who were interested in joining in. Farmers markets had to sell products sourced within 30 miles and that goods on offer would include food, drink and crafted items.
Police supported the idea and the park warden from Alexandra Park was also involved in the project.
The project has received a grant of £1,000 from the Stronger Together group towards providing gazebos to cover stalls and for advertising the events.
Cllr Tudor Pole questioned whether the market would be reliable, as he said space had been reserved for the project at the Stockton Heath Festival and it had not attended.
Mrs Fitch said the previous markets at Walton and the Scout Hut had always run on schedule.
She asked if the parish council could help fund trestle tables which would also be a community resource available to other groups. Members agreed to research organisations who may be able to offer tables on loan.