Page 43 - MarketTimesFebruary2020
P. 43

A buoyant market at the heart of
the Fens
 Located in the heart of the fertile Fens in eastern England, Boston has thrived over the years as a centre for food production and distribution, with its own port, and a traditional market where there are still five fruit and veg traders selling the finest local produce.
But the winds of change have sent a chill through this sometimes overlooked town, and it is now as well known as the Brexit capital of the UK than for its vibrant market and landmark attractions including The Stump, the town’s iconic parish church.
But the market, which dates back to a charter granted by Henry VIII in 1545, remains a force for social cohesion, where Bostonians who have lived in the town their whole lives, and Eastern Europeans who have made their homes here, do their weekly shop and enjoy the friendly banter.
Things changed for Boston back in 2004 when eight former communist countries joined the EU and workers from Poland and the Baltic states in particular were drawn to the UK’s food producing heartland where jobs were plentiful.
As the influx increased, the financial
crisis of 2008 hit, which meant cash was short for the infrastructure needed to match the increase in population.
When the EU referendum took place in 2016, more than 75 per cent of people in Boston voted to leave, and there is a groundswell of anger at the delay.
But the good news is that the market is holding its own despite a couple of setbacks, the most recent being the closure of the town’s Marks & Spencer this spring which was a crowd puller in the Market Place.
Chloe Rutt, events assistant for market operator Boston Borough Council, was
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