Page 23 - Market Times June 2021
P. 23

  Philip McCauley-Rowe, who runs markets and fairs for Charnwood Borough Council, saw an opportunity to turn a one-man band in the Leicestershire town of Shepshed into a thriving market during lockdown
outdoor markets in the long term,” Louis said. “The market I run at Market Bosworth has quadrupled in size.”
Philip felt food markets were the holy grail and he was keen to create a quality food market which would also be a community hub and strengthen the retail heart of Shepshed and its community spirit.
So they decided to give it a go. Louis approached the top-quality food traders he knew on Loughborough market. They trusted Louis and decided to take a chance. Whilst others, like the popular market bakery Belvoir bakers, took some convincing, but ultimately took a punt.
And what a good punt it turned out to be.
“We started the market last November in lockdown,” said Philip. “It wasn’t so much a big bang but more of a gradual development as word spread and local people felt comfortable shopping for fresh food outside.”
Hall Croft is owned by the nearby Co-op supermarket but they agreed to rent it out for the new market. Philip said a number of local shops had initially expressed concern about possible
competition, but all those fears were quickly dispelled.
“The Co-op has told me that Friday is now much busier for them and several shopkeepers have said they were struggling to survive and now they believe their businesses are viable again because people have a reason to come to the town every Friday,” Phil said.
The town council couldn’t be happier about the new market, he said.
It all started with the fruit and veg man who used to trade there on his own, Louis’s fresh fish van, a butchers’ wagon, the egg man, and the ever-popular bakery business, Belvoir’s.
“We soon had a reusables stall and a new cheese business and we will be adding a home- made pies stall and a cut flowers business,” Philip said.
Locals were quick to support the market and just a few weeks in there were socially-distanced queues forming for many of the stalls from early morning.
Marie Brader was one of many new market shoppers. She used to nip to the market every
  Louis Cavner (right) the fish man from Loughborough, is pictured with brother Perry and wife Rebecca

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