A NEW farmers’ market saw stall holders sell-out and reinvigorated a shopping parade to its ‘busiest in 20 years’
The Great Little Farmers’ Market, in Goring Road, Worthing, was held for the first time this month and will be expanded to accommodate a growing waiting list of traders.
An estimated 2,000 people attended, providing a welcome boost in footfall for the parade.
Ellie Henderson, of The Mans Shop, who helped organise the market as part of Goring Traders’ Association, said: “It was amazing. We didn’t know how it would go as it is completely new but some stall holders sold out completely.
“The cheese stall only do markets and said they never sold out before and the man from Busby’s had to go back and restock five times. It really took us by surprise.”
The market will be expanded from 24 stalls to 32 for the next event on April 4, after permission was granted by West Sussex County Council.
The event had a really good vibe, with live music, something for the kids and great looking stallsJon Nulty, Vice Puddings
Items on sale included jams, jewellery, artisan breads, cakes, local cheese, beers and homemade gifts.
A charity stall will be present at every market, with the first raising £400 for St Barnabas House hospice.
Entertainment from Worthing band Liquid Logic added to the atmosphere.
Kerry Melville, from Vision Express, said: “I have worked here for 20 years and I have never seen the parade so busy. It was brilliant.”
One café increased its number of customers from 86 the previous week to 126 on the day and Mrs Henderson hopes the trend will continue in the long term.
She said: “We had a few new businesses open just over a year ago and we felt we could work together on a positive initiative for both the businesses and the community.
“Businesses said they were seeing a lot of new people coming in. We want to encourage more people to shop locally.”
Jon Nulty from Worthing-based Vice Puddings, which sells homemade sweet treats, added: “As a local producer we were delighted to take part in the market and engage with lots of friendly local people.
“The event had a really good vibe, with live music, something for the kids and great looking stalls.”
The market’s progress was watched closely by councillor Paul Yallop, who attended the event alongside mayor Vic Walker and other councillors.
Mr Yallop praised the organisers for taking the initiative to ensure the parade would continue to thrive.
He said: “There is some very positive news here showing local business people taking action to ensure their local shopping areas can continue to thrive in spite of tough competition from online retailers.
“Following the first market one shop said they had taken half of their monthly target during the day. One café said they had the best day’s takings since beginning to trade. I have never seen Goring Road so full of people enjoying the atmosphere.
“It was a massive success and a credit to Ellie and her team of local traders who worked so hard to make the idea a reality.”
Mr Yallop has invited Louise Goldsmith to attend the next market to see the positive impact such an initiative can have on local communities within West Sussex.
A £3,500 grant was awarded through the county council’s Community Initiative Fund, which helped get the event publicised and up and running.