Celebrations were in the air this week as Newhaven Chamber of Commerce heard it had been awarded £10,000 to spend on revitalising and enlarging the weekly High Street market.
The money has come from the Mary Portas, Queen of the High Street, scheme to revitalise ailing high streets and some of it will also be used to make the town centre more attractive.
Newhaven took part in the scheme last year – it was not selected as one of the 12 towns in the Pilot Bid but all towns that took part but not selected were awarded £10,000 to help to revitalise their town centres.
The funding has been awarded to the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce by The Town Team, of which Lewes District Council is the Lead Member.
The current street market runs twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Over the years it has declined in size to just a handful of stalls.
But the Chamber of Commerce, which is also based in the High Street, plans to expand and enliven the market with a full range of stalls.
Shoppers will find traders selling everything from local home-made produce, organic goods, crafts, fruit and vegetables, clothing to household goods and many more.
Some of this money will also be used to make the town centre visually more appealing to draw more visitors in to shop.
Newhaven Chamber of Commerce President, Annie Lorys said: ‘This is great news for Newhaven and for the Chamber.
“A vibrant street market will draw people into the High Street and, we hope, will help to regenerate the town centre.”
The Chamber of Commerce has appointed a full-time manager to run the market.
Gillian Smith who has lived in Newhaven for 12 years.
Her background is in family and community work.
She is passionate about Newhaven and it has been her dream since moving to the town to have a vibrant and dynamic street market.
She is very excited about this new challenge and is looking forward to the launch event, which is currently scheduled for August 10.
Gillian is currently building up a list of stall holders for the new market which will run on Thursdays and Saturdays.
She is looking for new and unique potential market traders who are keen to take their first steps into this exciting project.
As an incentive, the Chamber of Commerce is currently offering the first month free to anyone who books a stall at the twice-weekly market.
The chamber will also be offering, support, guidance and training where appropriate.
If you would like to have a stall please get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce on 01273 517544 or e-mail on email@example.com
The Mary Portas review came about as the government recognised our high streets are facing serious challenges from out-of-town shopping centres and the growth of online and mobile retailing.