David Preston, chief executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities, says markets can be the new saviour of our high streets with an increasing desire for fresh local produce.
A new campaign – #MyMarket – has been launched to celebrate markets as the centre of the shopping experience.
“Markets have been the beating heart of communities for centuries, and the recent pandemic has seen people understand their real value,” David said.
“Markets are reinventing themselves to meet consumer expectations. They are the perfect place to trial a new business idea or product, with little capital commitment and the ability to expand and diversify.”
Food and other essentials continued to be sold at Boston Market during lockdown, although other stalls have only returned in the last couple of weeks.
Backing the new campaign, council leader Paul Skinner said: “It is clear the market was sorely missed during lockdown, and it’s heartening to see the traders rejoining us.
“Our historic market has around 24 traders on a Wednesday and 26 on a Saturday, which in itself is wonderful, to think on a Wednesday it has 24 additional shops in Bargate Green Car Park and 26 on a Saturday throughout The Market Place.
“The benefit of our outdoor market means that traders are in a fantastic position to come back from the lockdown better and stronger, and we are hopeful we can rebuild the trade by supporting our traders and local retailers.”
Boston Council’s Town Centre Services manager, Kristina Willoughby, said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported Boston Market throughout lockdown and continues to shop with us.
“Our market is strong and offers a great variety of fresh produce and products.
“We are able to offer new businesses or someone looking to expand theirs a stall for just £13 per day until the end of August 2020.”
The council is also offering half price rent until August 31, 2020, for all market traders and new traders get four markets for free when they have traded and paid for four markets.