West Sussex Gazette
Councils join forces to ensure farmers’ market can continue
Funding helps to buy new stalls for popular Arundel market
A popular farmers market has been given a boost after two councils joined forces to fund essential new equipment.
Arun District Council has provided two grants totalling £20,000 to bolster Arundel Town Council’s fund to buy new stalls for the Arundel Farmers’ Market.
The town council took over the market in 2019 at a time when it was in decline, with only 23 traders attending each month and a dwindling number of shoppers.
Now the market is flourishing, with more than 50 traders each month.
Residents and people from neighbouring villages have welcomed the chance to shop locally in Arundel, in the open air, for a wider range of goods.
This influx of shoppers has benefited Arundel High Street, the district council said, as shoppers have often stayed on for a coffee or for lunch or visited local shops.
But all this was under threat because Arundel has been renting the traders’ stalls from Adur District Council, which now needs the equipment for another market in its own district.
Arundel mayor Tony Hunt said the town council had investigated the possibility of hiring stalls each month from a commercial supplier but was concerned about the cost.
He said: “It would have meant passing on those high costs to stall-holders, with a real risk that many of them would have ceased to come to the market.
“Buying stalls was the obvious option, but as we are coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic this would have been a financial stretch for the town council.”
The town council discussed the predicament with Arun District Council and funding was found to cover the cost of new market stalls.
To add to the funding supplied by the town council, Arun District Council provided a £10,000 grant from its High Street Recovery Fund and a £10,000GreenerBusinessgrant.
Arun leader Shaun Gunner said: “As a council, we’re delighted that we could help fund the new market stalls.
“Helping the market to prosper will not only benefit the stall holders, but also all the small businesses in Arundel who reap the rewards of a busy market and the sense of community it brings to the town.”
More information about ArundelFarmers’Market,which is held on the third Saturday of every month, can be found at www.arundelfarmersmarket. co.uk