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Recession boosts take up of Morecambe Festival Market stalls

Author: 
John Freeman
With local retailers feeling the pinch as the recession continues and the number of devastating public service cuts continues to grow by the day, business amongst market traders appears to be booming at Lancaster City Council’s Festival Market in Morecambe - although Lancaster Market still seems in the doldrums.

The Council reports three of the six vacant units from its 108 stalls and shops were recently snapped up within one week, introducing new commodities not previously sold at Morecambe’s Festival Market.

One stall holder took the opportunity to expand his hobby and model business to a second stall, selling a wide range of sports equipment including badminton racquets and fishing rods. Another is expanding his kitchenware and household business to a third stall selling sledges and Chinese lanterns.

New to the market, Matthew Cottam has brought Red Rose Mobility aids to the market selling vehicles, walking frames and other accessories.

“I decided to set up my business at the Festival Market because I really wanted to work for myself and spotted an opportunity in Morecambe," says Matthew. "I feel I can serve the local community as well as those visiting Morecambe and think the Market will be the perfect venue for my commodity. The rents are reasonable, there’s a good footfall from both tourists and those living in the area and great access for the disabled.”

Although times are difficult it is reassuring that we continue to receive daily enquiries to join the Festival Market," notes Festival Market Manager Tracey Bruce. "The support of the local community is very important to the market's success and if anyone else is interested in taking a stall, they should contact me as soon as possible. We only have two vacancies remaining.”

All of which begs the question - if the Festival Market is such a success, what on earth is happening at Lancaster Market, where many stalls remain empty? What is the Festival Market management doing right that, it could be argued, Lancaster Market's management is not?

• All the new stalls on the Festival Market will be up and running by 18th November. For further details contact Tracey on 01524 414251, send an email to tbruce@lancaster.gov.uk or visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/markets
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