February 20, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea farmers markets organiser defends monthly events

The organiser of Burnham-On-Sea's Farmers Market has defended the event after a town councillor called for a re-think on whether the monthly farmers markets should be held in the town's High Street.

As reported here, during the latest council meeting, Cllr Louise Parkin questioned whether the number of stalls at the events justifies the High Street being closed each month.

"Is it worthwhile closing the street for a small amount of stalls when road closures are so detrimental to the trade of our existing shops?" she asked.

Market organiser Jo Hayers of Somerset Farmers Markets has told this week: "Burnham-On-Sea Farmers Market has been taking place for nearly 11 years. We were surprised and disappointed to read the views of some councillors."

"Burnham's High Street has some brilliant independent food shops which we hope the market slots in with on the last Friday of each month. Town footfall figures have shown that market days can have a positive impact on numbers of people in the town; visitors from outside the centre of Burnham won't just be visiting the market, they will visit surrounding shops to tick things off their list, they will linger a bit longer, meet friends, have a coffee and enjoy the area."

"If customers didn't like the market then they wouldn't vote with their feet. While the market was a little quieter in January, this is a challenge all markets have to work with and is due to the natural seasonality of British grown produce; trader numbers are back up again in the coming months."

She added: "While the road closure does mean that a diversion is in place, it creates a pedestrian-friendly zone in the centre of the town and encourages people on foot to slow down and enjoy the area."

"In the wake of Brexit and the uncertain future that holds, we need to make an extra effort to support the brilliant local businesses, shops and markets we have and to keep our Town Centres alive!"

"We are in talks with Burnham Chamber of Commerce and the Town Council, and will talk to local shops at the next market on Friday 24th February to see if we can further improve our ongoing relationship with the town."


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