Rasen community group 'saddened' to stop markets due to fee increase

A Market Rasen community group which has run pop-up markets in the town say they can no longer afford to do so due to rising costs imposed by the town council.
Market Rasen Market Place Image: Dianne TuckettMarket Rasen Market Place Image: Dianne Tuckett
Market Rasen Market Place Image: Dianne Tuckett

In a statement released on their social media page, Market Rasen Action Group (MRAG) said: “It is with great sadness that Market Rasen Action Group will no longer be running the pop-up markets on the Market Place. This is due to the huge rise in fees that the council has increased by £180 per market.

“As a community group, we simply cannot afford to risk having to subsidise the rent for the market place out of our community funds.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single trader that has supported MRAGs markets over the years, we love you all dearly, we have made so many friends, we will miss you immensely and wish you well.

“We would also like to thank all the residents, visitors, and businesses who have helped make our markets a success.”

The post has received a large number of comments praising the work done by MRAG.

Gail Belinda Lee commented: “This is such a shame as the markets brought a lot of visitors to our lovely town which benefited all of us. It was also a great social event for local folks. Plus some lovely stalls and stall holders.”

One of the regular stalls was Sparkles, Strings and Sails, who commented: “So sad, I will miss these markets so much. I will miss the wonderful community of stallholders and organisers and I shall miss all the lovely people that came to the markets.

“A big thank you to the team for organising and being such a great friendly bunch over the last few years.”

However, their has also been much criticism towards the council, questioning the support given to the town and its businesses, as well as the reason for charging to use the market place.

The market place had been in private ownership and leased to the town council until a public board loan was taken out to enable the council to purchase it in 2022 and therefore give them more control over it.

Since then, there has been much conversation over its use, but Coun Jo Pilley, Chairman of Market Rasen Town Council says markets will still be held.

She said: “Market Rasen Town Council can confirm that markets will continue to take place in the Market Place this year. A series of events are scheduled to take place between March and October, along with a Christmas Market.

“Market Rasen Action Group has, since the end of COVID, hosted Pop Up markets numerous times a year, however this was only possible due to being heavily subsidised from a variety of sources. Unfortunately, those sources are no longer available and as such the burden of this cost would then fall on to the Tax Payer.

“The true cost of running a market is £300. These costs include the closure of the car park and security, along with the setting up and closing down of the stalls. “Sadly, MRTC along with all other councils must balance the books and must reduce the financial burden on the Tax Payer.”

Coun Pilley continued: “Market Rasen Town Council has offered to meet with MRAG to discuss options available to them, including volunteering to close the car park themselves (which other users have agreed to) and applying for grants, however they have not wished to engaged with the council.

"Market Rasen Town Council has also confirmed to Market Rasen Action Group that they will continue to have free use of the Auction Shed for the Unform Bank.”

Coun Pilley added: “It is disappointing that Market Rasen Action Group has decided to speak with the press rather than discuss options available to them with Market Rasen Town Council.”