Page 39 - Market Times June 2021
P. 39

 Blessed be Brandon Market, which has a new lease of life
Brandon Market in Suffolk offers food for the body and soul since it was trans- formed from a two-stall event to a thriving market and community hub. Nicola Gould visits a market where even the local vicar has got in on the act
Market day in the small Suffolk town of Brandon used to be a depressing affair. Just two busi- nesses — a fruit and veg seller and a fish van — would set up stall every Thursday in Market Hill, the attractive market square dominated by the town hall and the police station, and looking purpose-built for a substantial market.
Sharon Fairweather, market development officer for West Suffolk Council, spear- headed the revival of Brandon market
Despite benefiting from a great butchers and bakers, the town’s High Street was struggling. And whilst locals were loyal to the two regular stalls and nostalgic about their market, which had seen much better days, they were forced to shop out of town for the bulk of their weekly shop.
Then the pandemic struck and everything changed.
Sharon Fairweather, markets development officer for West Suffolk Council, who has spearheaded the transformation of Brandon Market, said the council looked at the situation and decided they had to do something drastic to improve the market.
“Brandon has quite a lot of older residents and many weren’t happy to get on a bus to go to a busy supermarket, so the council wanted to do everything it could to ensure they could get everything they needed in town,” she said.
It was also the perfect opportunity to revive what had once been a thriving market, and in turn give a much-needed fillip to the High Street.

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