Street market is a success story for town group

A new Street Market in Vicarage Fields was launched by the Mayor of Hailsham Cllr Jo Bentley who took a turn at serving on the fruit and veg stall. August 24th 2013 E35008P
A new Street Market in Vicarage Fields was launched by the Mayor of Hailsham Cllr Jo Bentley who took a turn at serving on the fruit and veg stall. August 24th 2013 E35008P

The launch of Hailsham Street Market saw 21 stalls offering a wide range of products and a steady stream of customers despite the atrocious weather.

The market in Vicarage Fields is one of the projects Hailsham Forward is working on to help improve the image of Hailsham and attract more shoppers into the town centre.

On Saturday hundreds of people attended the market where they perused stalls selling fruit and vegetables, pet food and pet supplies, homemade cakes, pies and pasties, handbags and accessories, liqueurs, homemade chocolates, cheeses, flowers and plants, locally made jams and preserves, handmade jewellery and gift items.

There was traditional ice creams and sweets on sale throughout the day, as well as face painting and children’s entertainment.

Hailsham Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Bentley, officiated over the launch of the market and cut a special cake at 10am to declare it open to the public.

She also helped serve behind several of the stalls.

Hailsham Town Council’s Business Enterprise Manager Mickey Caira said: “It’s a real traditional street market kind of mix we’re trying to achieve here, to supplement the built retail environment in the town centre.”

Hailsham Forward chairman Paul Soane said there were also more customers for the shops during the day.

“It was very good, despite the atrocious weather,” he said.

“We still had a good crowd with a steady footfall all day and the stallholders were delighted with the response. They have all booked to come again.

“There was good feedback about the location and the market products on sale.”

The new street market will be open between 9.30am and 3pm on the third Saturday and every second and fourth Thursday of each month, until Saturday December 21.

After this, the market set-up will be reviewed before opening again in March 2014.

These days have been chosen to avoid other local markets and help complement what is already available in Hailsham.

Hailsham Forward was set up after a grant of £10,000 was given to Hailsham by the government as part of the Mary Portas town regeneration scheme.

It is hoped the market will improve retail opportunities in Hailsham and increase footfall and spend in the town centre.

Hailsham was selected by the Department for Communities and Local Government to receive a grant of £10,000 for the recently established Hailsham Forward to help drive forward its objectives to revitalise the town centre.

As well as the market, the group has already come up with a number of ideas to regenerate the town.

It has also given a new lease of life to empty shop fronts by providing a ‘virtual window’ display to help make the town look more attractive.

For more information about the plans visit www.hailshamforward.co.uk