Arun District Council has provided two grants totalling £20,000 to bolster Arundel Town Council’s fund to buy new stalls for the market.
The town council took over the market in 2019 at a time when it was in decline, with only 23 traders attending each month and a dwindling number of shoppers. Now the market is flourishing, with more than 50 traders each month.
Local residents and people from neighbouring villages have welcomed the chance to shop locally in Arundel's open air for a wide range of goods, and this influx of shoppers has benefitted the high street, as shoppers often stay on for a coffee or a visit to local shops.
However, all this was under threat because Arundel has been renting the traders’ stalls from Adur District Council which now needs the equipment for another market in its own district.
Arundel Mayor, Tony Hunt, said that the town council had investigated the possibility of hiring stalls each month from a commercial supplier, but it was concerned about the cost.
He said: “It would have meant passing on those high costs to stall-holders, with a real risk that many of them would have ceased to come to the market.
“Buying stalls was the obvious option, but as we are coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, this would have been a financial stretch for the town council.”
The town council discussed the predicament with Arun District Council and funding was found to cover the cost of new market stalls.
To add to the funding supplied by the town council, Arun District Council provided a £10,000 grant from its High Street Recovery Fund and a £10,000 Greener Business grant.
The mayor said: “We are grateful to Arun District Council for their support.
"Arundel Farmers Market has become a great success and enables people to buy fresh, high-quality local produce and speak to the producers.
"This is another great example of Arundel Town Council and Arun District Council working together in the interests of our community.”
Councillor Shaun Gunner, who was heavily involved in securing funding to support Arun’s high streets, said: “When I heard about this issue I got personally involved as I felt it was vital that we support the town council to ensure that that this much-loved institution continued.
"As a council, we’re delighted that we could help fund the new market stalls.
“Helping the market to prosper will not only benefit the stall holders, but also all the small businesses in Arundel who reap the rewards of a busy market and the sense of community it brings to the town.”
More information about Arundel Farmers Market, which is held on the 3rd Saturday of every month, can be found at: www.arundelfarmersmarket.co.uk