Page 15 - MarketTimesOctober2020
P. 15

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Bringing in a private operator to run Kirkby Lonsdale market was no easy decision. To some, it must have seemed like handing over your precious toddler to nursery school for the first time — you know they are in professional hands, but you can’t help worrying.
Like so many small, rural market towns, the market has been part of Kirkby Lonsdale’s DNA for centuries.
Established by charter in 1127, it has had several different locations over the centuries, finally finding an elegant home
in the new market place created in 1822. As the Westmorland town on the River
Lune thrived, so did the Thursday market, but all that history and heritage seemed threatened 11 years ago when the town council announced that it could no longer afford to run the market.
The locals were determined to keep such an important asset, so Kirkby Lonsdale Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed to take over the running of the market and other town assets. The market has plodded along quite happily ever since.
The CIC’s town and tourism manager
Janet Nuttall takes up the story.
“The market has always been really im-
portant to this town. It is a really rural area with a strong, friendly community, a very healthy civic society and everyone here is proud of the market which gives Kirkby Lonsdale its sense of identity,” she said.
“When the CIC was formed we all knew we had to keep the market but there have certainly been challenges along the way,” she added.
As with all markets, changing shopping habits have sometimes made it an uphill struggle. And the CIC did not have huge

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