FARMERS’ markets and village stores throughout Wealden will benefit from a total of £7,000-worth of grants from Wealden District Council.
Farmers’ markets in Uckfield, Crowborough, Hailsham and Heathfield will receive £500 each to help create a brand identity.
Rushlake Green Village Stores will use its £500 grant to pay towards the cost of updating its refrigeration and also ways to attract more customers. The Old Dairy and Farm Shop, Furners Green also receives £500 which will go towards the set-up of a walk-in cold store, which will enable more fresh meat to be sold from the store.
Economic development cabinet member Cllr Roy Galley said: “All of these businesses are helping to maintain the quality and fabric of rural life in Wealden in a difficult retail climate.
“They face stiff competition from large towns outside the district and online service providers. Rural retailers provide an essential hub for their local communities and help support local growers and producers. Given the rising price of fuel such local outlets are becoming increasingly important to residents on fixed incomes.”