New Sunday market to feature street food, music and crafters
- Credit: Chris Taylor / Supplied by Love Holt
Stalls selling crafts and gifts, street food vendors and musicians are to fill the streets of a north Norfolk town on a regular basis.
Holt is to host a regular Sunday market which will take place 10am-4pm. The market will take place on June 6, July 4 and then every Sunday in July and August.
The market will then go back to being monthly, taking place on the first Sunday of each month until December.
Iain Wilson, leader of Love Holt, a communication and support hub for the town, said the trend towards online shopping during the pandemic had taken a toll on high streets, but that: "Holt bucks the trend and reports the lowest number of available empty shops, a buoyant outlook and potentially the best line up of independents it has had in many years."
He added: "The market will enhance Holt’s core offer bringing in more local independents, providing visitors and residents of the town an opportunity to spend time together in a great environment."
Mr Wilson, who owns Byfords cafe and B&B in Shirehall Plain, said the success of a 'makers' market' last July and August laid the foundations for something more substantial and long term.
Nigel Hadlow, Love Holt ambassador, said it was hoped the Holt Sunday Market would encourage visitors and trade in the town on Sundays, and help attract a younger audience.
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Mr Hadlow said the market would be run as a not-for-profit venture, with proceeds from its organisation going back to the community via Love Holt. He said the market could help recruit future shop owners for the town and "make Holt a flagship destination town at a national level".
The market will include more than 40 stalls including two each week which charities or community groups will be able to run without paying a fee.
There will also be communal tables and chairs for people to sit and chat, a DJ and acoustic buskers.
Part of the high street and some other sections of town centre roads will be closed while the market is taking place.
Holt's market: An old tradition to be revived
Holt had a long history of hosting markets dating back to medieval times and early maps of the town name it as 'Holt Market'.
Mr Wilson said: "Holt had a market back in medieval times selling livestock and produce.
"It was held in what is now called the Market Place with large removable wooden stalls, awnings and possibly tent-like backs for storage and overnight accommodation for the stallholder."
The medieval markets were held monthly, and there was also a bi-annual fair. At one of these fairs in May 1708, the Great Fire of Holt started and many of the town's buildings were destroyed. The centre was rebuilt over the next 100 years, giving the town its distinct Georgian feel.
The market continued, but later moved to the area behind the Feathers Hotel - where Budgens and the town centre car park are now located. The market closed in 1960.