Go Trade partners in England and France celebrate the re-opening of markets together safely
The Go Trade project itself was successful in securing a further extension for another year. Now due to end in March 2022, this has given us more scope to help with the challenges we have all faced this past year. We are aiming to help put in place opportunities for market traders to help to recover and thrive long into the future.
In England, local governments are continuing to follow the road map to ease the country out of lockdown. With spring bringing some warmer weather and these small steps taken every month, the country is starting to breathe again giving some new life to the markets.
Basildon Market along with Go Trade are looking to host some fun days in late July and throughout August. Ensuring the extra safety precautions are in place in these uncertain times is an extra priority. With a few rides and some familiar characters, it will be an opportunity to celebrate the return to the markets safely together.
The roadmap has already allowed Basildon Market to reopen safely and is welcoming its local residents back to the marketplace.
In Great Yarmouth, the market is currently undergoing major redevelopment works. The borough council's exciting vision of town centre regeneration and revitalisation has started to become a reality for residents and visitors. The £4.6m investment will see the market facilities significantly improved in the heart of the Market Place area, with new units under an architecturally-striking wooden canopy - a unique design which will mean the market is brighter, more inviting and compliments the historic setting.
The Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership (GYTCP) is working closely with the borough council and other partners on measures to encourage people back in to the town centre as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted. This includes a schedule of planned activity and promotion, the details of which will be announced in due course.
In Gravesend Borough Market, the permanent food traders have continued to operate throughout as take away services, but all non-essential retailers were pleased to be able to return when the level of restrictions lifted a few weeks ago. Moving forward, the return of more themed markets and event days is being planned, including Vinyl record fair and Vegan markets which were started through the Go Trade project. Gravesham Borough Council is also looking forward to putting on evening market events with entertainment to really welcome back customers and help traders recover from a very difficult year. In the summer, market events will be linked to the Gravesend's Bloomin' Lovely theme - such as flower markets and workshops. And although we haven't even had summer yet, we will be planning our Autumn programme and winter activities.
In France, where the government roadmap also allows COVID-19 restrictions to be progressively lifted, in the area of the Communauté de Communes du Pays de Lumbres, two night markets will be hosted in June and in July, in the respect of the sanitary protocol in force. These events will bring breath and joy to the local population as well as markets traders. Summer events in the new weekly markets are also planned to celebrate the return to "an almost normal life."
The Caen la mer Tourist Office continues to work to enhance and promote the quality of markets in Caen, and as such is planning a 4-page editorial on Caen la mer, gourmet capital of Normandy, with MasterChef magazine to be published in July; a special focus will be made on markets. In addition, the Tourist Office is hoping to welcome English bloggers, once international travel restrictions are eased and it is safe to do so, as part of a blog trip similarly to what was organised in autumn 2020 with French bloggers.
As an information and counselling network for agriculture and rural development, the Chambre d'Agriculture Nord-Pas de Calais is a partner of the project Go Trade. In this context, courses are suggested for all exhibitors from Go Trade's markets. "Stands enhancement", "Online selling", "Negotiation skills", "Communication", are amongst many interesting subjects for merchants seeking to increase their revenues. Moreover, to promote local products consumption and encourage producers to improve and diversify their operations, the Chamber of Agriculture can support creation and reinvigoration of existing markets sponsored by collectivities and local cities in the Hauts-de-France region.
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 2022. Twitter: @GoTrade_Markets #GoTrade