Open-air markets in Keswick and Workington returned this week providing a welcome boost for traders, shoppers and the high street.
The markets, run by Allerdale Borough Council, have been deemed a success with visitors once again returning to high street following the lifting the lifting of Government coronavirus restrictions.
To reassure customers, traders and residents, the markets returned at a reduced capacity – allowing stalls to be spaced further apart than normal – and a range of safety measures were put in place.
The council has worked alongside town councils, traders and councillors to get the markets back up and running.
This week’s events were also the first to be held since the council took the management of the markets in-house.
Mike Johnson, deputy leader and executive member for economic growth, community development and placemaking, said: “As a council we’re committed to help our town’s thrive economically and play a key role in supporting business.
“We know how important our markets are in creating vibrant town centres and that’s why we’ve worked hard to bring them back.”
The return of the markets was welcomed by traders who said they were happy to be back out selling goods to the public.
In Workington, George Bainbridge, who runs a fruit and veg stall, said shopping at markets would be safe as long as people stuck to the guidelines.
“I’ve traded at markets all my life and we’re really pleased to be back up and running,” he said.
In Keswick, Sally Kidman, who runs Derwent Frames, has spent 25 years trading at the town’s market.
She said: “We’re glad the markets are up and running again and pleased with the response from the locals, it feels like a step towards normality.
“It’s very important from a business point of view that we were able to return.”
David Lamont, of Relish coffee shop and takeaway in Keswick, which looks onto the market site, said it was also important for high street premises that the market had returned.
“We’re really pleased the markets are back, it’s a positive for the town and will help bring people back,” he said.
“It’s great to see the traders back after such a long time away.”
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria LEP and chair of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG), said: “I am delighted to see our markets re-opening. This is an important milestone in the reopening of the Cumbria’s economy, which is critical to protecting our businesses and jobs.
“It’s great to see the role that Allerdale Borough Council has played in helping to make this happen. I would strongly encourage local people and visitors to go along and give their support to the market and its traders.”
Both markets will also run tomorrow, Saturday June 20, as normal.
For more information on the safety measures put in place go to https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/news-and-blog/keswick-and-workington-markets-to-resume-following-coronavirus-suspension/.