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Go Trade partners in England and France support local markets through Covid and preparations for Christmas

Towns across England and France have been supporting their market traders to connect back with the customers after COVID-19 health and safety measures impacted footfall, with the support of the Go Trade project.

The recently extended project is funded with €3.8 million from the EU-funded Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, with additional support coming from local partners.

With Christmas fast approaching, many member towns are putting on additional festive events to boost visitor numbers in the winter months.

In England, Great Yarmouth is staging three special Christmas in The Parks events, with temporary markets offering gifts for sale and festive food and drink, alongside free live entertainment from local musicians, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a free land train between event sites.

The town is also continuing with its £4.6m investment to revamp its permanent six-day market, which will include more energy-efficient stalls, covered seating areas, and space for pop-up traders and events.

Basildon Market and Wickford Market are building on the great reception in the summer for their Go Trade Summer Fun Days. People of all ages were able to enjoy various activities as Covid-19 restrictions eased. The borough has been busy preparing Christmas celebrations, including two weekends of fun-filled activities including the return of an annual street fayre, food stalls, fireworks, a parade, musical guests, Santa's grotto, and Christmas lights. Following the cancellation of many events last year due to COVID-19, organisers are hoping to enjoy the festivities all together again in the borough.

For Christmas and into the new year, Basildon Council has also secured the extension of the ShopAppy click and collect service, which all market traders and businesses across the whole borough can trial for free until March 2022. It is a great opportunity for businesses to expand their online presence and it gives the public a chance to support their local businesses in a click in the period leading up to Christmas.

In Gravesend Borough Market, traders are seeing a return to more normal trading conditions with customers returning to regular markets, in addition to a full programme of activities and events to continue drawing footfall. A number of events and workshops are being delivered through the Go Trade funding including evening Christmas markets, table decoration and wreath making workshops.

The team have also been busy rebooking Go Trade events including the model railway market and Chilli Festival, which had to be postponed due to Covid.

In France, the Pays de Lumbres traders reacted to the need to stay close to home because of Covid restrictions by launching five new, local, weekly markets. With the support of the Pays de Lumbres Community of Municipalities as part of the Go Trade program, these made it possible for people to consume locally and to promote the activity of local producers, artisans and traders.

The support of the Go Trade programme of investments, activities and communication in these new markets has encouraged their progress and they now seem to be established on a long-term basis but the organisers say that winter, which combines an expected drop in market attendance due to weather conditions, and the end of the GO TRADE program, will be a decisive period in confirming the sustainability of these new markets.

In Caen, the focus has been on consolidating on previous activity as part of Go Trade, with a "Novembre Gourmand" press reception for the British media. This will focus on promotion of the area from gourmet perspective and via its markets, but with a focus on the international market rather than domestic French media.

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. Facebook: @GoTradeMarkets2019 Instagram: @gotrademarkets Twitter: @GoTrade_Markets #GoTrade

Last modified on 07 December 2023

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