Fears over future of Stamford Country Market at Stamford Arts Centre

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STAMFORD Country Market is calling for more custom amid fears it may be forced to close.

Formerly known as the Stamford WI, the market runs every Friday morning at Stamford Arts Centre, in St Mary’s Street, but is currently struggling due to a fall in the number of shoppers and an increasing age of producers.

Organisers fear it may have to open every fortnight, change venue, or even have to close permanently.

The market, which is part of Lincolnshire based Country Markets, has been at the Arts Centre for about 15 years, and manager Sally Threapleton said it will be a shame if it has to close.

She said: “There’s a possibility we may have to close which will be such a shame. It’s been running in Stamford for a long time but we just have not got as many customers now as we used to.

“And what adds to the problem is the number of competitors in the area. Since the M&S food shop and Waitrose have opened we have noticed a drop in customers.

“We just need to make people aware that we are here and still running.”

The stalls at the market sell a range of locally produced goods, including homemade cakes, savouries, bread and preserves, as well as fruit, vegetables and plants.

Sally admits that while traders offer a great service, there is an increasing age of producers and the market needs to attract younger people to continue its level of service in the future.

She said: “We could do with younger people coming in to sell. We need people to come in and continue the service and take it further.

“It needs to have some more life injected into it.”

Market bosses are set to have a meeting in the next few weeks to discuss its future.

The market is open every Friday from 8.30am to 11am.

For more information or to inquire about setting up a stall, call Sally on 01780 752 504 or market secretary Patricia Robbins on 01536 350 987.