Council commitment signals bright future for Mendip Markets
Mendip District Council is backing the region's rich heritage of street trading by adopting a strategy to strengthen and safeguard the future of council-run markets.
The new Market's Strategy is designed to drive through innovation while making the Mendip Markets more environmentally friendly, economically viable and sustainable, and fit for the 21st century.
A number of priorities are identified in the strategy, including the reduction and removal of single use plastic from markets, and encouraging traders to use recyclable packaging. Inclusivity, and the need to ensure the Mendip Markets are used by all sections of the community, is also highlighted.
Mendip Markets contribute to the uniqueness of the region. They currently support over 130 regular traders and small businesses at markets across the district, plus a further 74 seasonal and casual traders.
The markets go back centuries - Wells obtained its Charter in 1290 - yet continuously look to refresh and revitalise their offer. They encourage local, young traders through the 'Love your local markets' campaign and the Young Trader of the Year Competition. Mendip Markets also work with local colleges and schools through their National Citizenship scheme, giving young people access to the market. And they support local producers, artisans and growers with the opportunity to sell their products locally.
However, Mendip Markets face similar challenges to those witnessed in the High Street, with reduced spending by the public and traders. Having a clear, focused Market's Strategy will help to manage the Mendip Markets and ensure their continued success.
Cllr Nick Cottle, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, said: "Mendip Markets are bursting with creativity, innovation, community, heritage and local commerce. They provide a genuine alternative to High Street chains and online shopping, and they work together with local traders and shops to support each other.
"Adopting this strategy provides a framework for the Mendip Markets going forward to be commercially viable, and contribute to the communities they serve, providing work for small businesses across the district."
To find out more about the Mendip Markets, you can follow the @mendip_markets on Twitter and @Mendip.Markets on Instagram or visit www.mendip.gov.uk/markets