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Some excellent new traders have come on board, although there is still room for more top end businesses. It’s all about high quality businesses, artisan food and quirky, niche lines, Alan says.
And initiatives like a new farmers’ market on the last Friday of each month, “electric night markets”, and themed events all aim to bring new people to the market.
Improved signage is in the pipeline to tackle another key challenge — the market is in the centre of town but it is tucked away, with the main access through a narrow alleyway.
Many a visitor to the town must leave unaware of the market.
And, more significantly, the council is planning to knock down shop premises to create a much
wider, more obvious entrance to the market, as well as some much-needed investment in the dated Market Walk shopping area next to the market.
“It is a challenge and it will take time,” said Alan, who has written a 10-year strategic plan tackling all the key issues.
“More than anything, Tiverton is a community market, so we have put a lot of effort into renewing its community links,” he said.
One initiative is art classes targeting marginalised local people run by local artist and charity worker Jackie Tye.
Jackie said: “Some people in the community struggle to meet people and art classes have proved a good way to get them out of their
FEATURE • TIVERTON homes and meeting other people. It has literally
transformed some people’s lives.”
And the market traders themselves appreciate
the strong community spirit. Karen Worbey is one of the longest established trader, having started on the market as a seamstress offering an alteration service in 1993.
“When I started inside there were just four rows of traders and the market was always really busy,” she said.
Shopping trends have changed, but Karen still has a good business in the outside lock-ups where she also sells bags, socks and miscellaneous other lines — and she says the market is still as friendly as ever.
Anji Palmer, who has been selling wool in the
     Garfield Slocombe is one of several market businesses selling cakes, pastries and bread on the market
   Karen Worbey is the longest established market trader at Tiverton where she first set up stall as a seamstress offering an alterations service in 1993
Linda Jenkins used to work as a courier but now has a new role as “the mum of the market” where she runs Kwirky Krafts selling the fabric animals, bags and cushions she makes herself
  Jackie Tye teaches art at the market in an initiative to support people who are marginalised
Nicola Widdowson has been running The Healthy Root, one of two greengrocers on the market, for the past two years

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