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Cross-Channel project is helping to revitalise traditional markets in England and France

A cross-Channel project to help revitalise historic markets has reached its halfway point, with a range of market events and promotional activity already completed as part of supporting town centres and visitor economies in England and France.

Go Trade in Great Yarmouth Market Place

Known as Go Trade, the €5.6 million scheme aims to support the footfall and overall offer at nine traditional markets, with 16 project partners in both countries working together, along with market traders and other town centre businesses, to develop and implement the project.

Go Trade is funded with €3.8 million from the EU-funded Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, with additional support coming from local partners. Go Trade stands for Growth of the Visitor Economy through Traditional Markets, Employment and Skills. The scheme started in late 2017 and will conclude in 2020. Visit the new Go Trade website here.
A recognisable shared Go Trade brand, targeted at local residents and tourist visitors, has been created for use at all nine markets, representing a mark of good quality and diverse local products sold by certified market traders who offer good customer service.

Each partner area is creating online videos to help promote markets as part of their wider tourist offer, in addition to developing holiday itineraries that incorporate visits to markets and participating at major tourism and trade shows to target key visitor countries with potential interest in Go Trade markets.

To further enhance visitor numbers, length of stay and the overall visitor experience, the markets have been hosting a cross-border programme of themed events each year, ranging from Christmas events to live music, from cooking workshops to wacky walkabout acts.
In addition, the traditional markets have also entered the digital market place. A click-and-collect scheme for market traders is being trialled at two locations, with work underway to introduce free-to-use 4G wi-fi networks at some markets as part of modernising the visitor experience.
In addition, there is business development support to encourage more entrepreneurs, including young people, to trade on the markets, as well as offering face-to-face mentoring and coaching opportunities.

Cllr Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "We are pleased to be part of this exciting partnership project which supports our wider work and ambitions with partners, through the Town Centre Masterplan, to enhance the town centre as a destination where more people choose to live, work, invest and spend their leisure time and money.
"While we're still only half way through, the significant investment from Go Trade has already brought extra value to the market offer in Great Yarmouth, not least through funding a wide diversity of special events and activities designed to support footfall in the Market Place, including the Christmas markets, Easter egg and Valentine's day hunts, plus a series of live musical performances."

Cllr Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council, who are overall project managers for Go Trade, said: "Markets are the traditional heart of our town centres - helping them to grow stronger is key to the health of our wider town centres and visitor economies. The significant investment Go Trade is bringing is helping to protect what we all love about markets, while helping them to modernise and continue to meet customers' needs.
"Markets and town centres in England and France face the same core challenges. By working together we are better placed to address these challenges and to make the most of the unique strengths and opportunities markets have, as our town centres evolve in the 21st century. The partnership has already made a lot of progress and there are lots more exciting developments in the pipeline."

Twitter: @Channel_Manche #GoTrade

Last modified on 10 September 2020

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