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Penrith market sees surge in interest

As Coronavirus continues to change the nation’s shopping habits, market traders are finding a resurgence in popularity for local outdoor markets.

Eden District Council has recently been contacted by a number of local traders who are keen to set up shop at its weekly Penrith town centre market, which is returning on Tuesday 13 October 2020.

To encourage new traders to come on board, Eden District Council is announcing that new traders can test the waters with a no-obligation four-week free trial for their stall, with an additional six weeks on offer at a heavily discounted rate. Existing traders can also benefit, with incentives on offer for introducing new traders to the market.

Councillor Mary Robinson, Deputy Leader of Eden District Council, said “The local weekly market peaked in popularity four years ago, so it is hoped that changing shopping habits will signal a new dawn for the Penrith market.

“There has been a surge in interest recently and we want to do everything we can to encourage new traders to the town. With a wider variety of quality stalls, we hope that local shoppers will be attracted in greater numbers to enjoy some of the brilliant produce on offer.

“With the pandemic affecting the economy in lots of different ways, setting up a market stall can be a useful testing ground for people considering starting up a new business, or a new route to market for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.

“Penrith is a proud market town and has historically had some brilliant traders, but it’s been affected by a lack of customers and competition from discount stores. We’re urging people to shop local: supporting local people and the local economy.”

The weekly Penrith market takes place on a Tuesday from 9am to 5pm in the Great Dockray car park. Shoppers can enjoy freshly-picked vegetables and juicy fruits, as well as a variety of quality goods on offer from independent traders, all in a safe open-air environment.

Traders Ian Wood and Tracy Dinsdale were doing brisk business at Ian & Tracy's Fruit & Veg Stall 

Ian said: "This is our first day in Penrith and I tell you what, we're looking forward to it. Next week there are going to be a lot more stalls. I hope the markets bring more people into the town centre, into the fresh air, rather than shopping in the supermarkets. 

"We decided to start this business and go self-employed three weeks ago. It's been quiet but steady and we expect it to grow over time as more stalls open up and people get to know us. We also have the stall at Appleby market on Saturday and Kirkby Stephen on a Monday."  

The renewed focus on supporting markets means that parking in parts of the Great Dockray Car Park will be prohibited every Tuesday going forward, from Tuesday 13 October 2020. Car parking at most of the Council’s off street car parking locations remains free until the end of the year.

As well as the weekly Penrith market on a Tuesday, Eden District Council runs the weekly market in Appleby and the monthly farmers’ market in Penrith. New trader incentives are also available for these markets. For more details on these and other markets in Eden, visit www.eden.gov.uk/markets