Unique project aims to revitalise Blyth’s market

At the launch of the Blyth Market Revitalisation project are, left to right, Joe Hughes, Blyth Town Clerk;  Coun Liz Simpson, Northumberland County Council's markets champion; Town councillors John Potts and Bob Parker; and Coun Margaret Parker, Mayor of Blyth.
At the launch of the Blyth Market Revitalisation project are, left to right, Joe Hughes, Blyth Town Clerk; Coun Liz Simpson, Northumberland County Council's markets champion; Town councillors John Potts and Bob Parker; and Coun Margaret Parker, Mayor of Blyth.

A unique project is under way to revitalise a town’s market.

Blyth Town Council and Northumberland County Council have joined forces on the project, which aims to bring more traders with quality goods on offer for shoppers and visitors.

The councils are investing funding and resources in a drive to attract a range of new traders to Friday and Saturday markets in Blyth Market Place.

An events programme is also planned to bring the area to life and to entertain people.

In this initiative, Blyth Town Council has agreed to invest £69,000 which will cover an incentive scheme and marketing and events programme to attract more traders, shoppers and visitors.

Coun Liz Simpson, deputy business chair and markets champion at Northumberland County Council, said: “Markets can be the lifeblood of town centres and Blyth Town Council approached us with an aspiration to reinvigorate their market – for the benefit of the whole economy of Blyth.

“We are delighted to be working with the town council and local stakeholders to make Blyth Market a thriving feature of the town again.

“We are pleased to be bringing the council’s expertise in running markets and to invest council resources in working with the town council towards their aspiration of regenerating their market.”

Coun Margaret Parker, Mayor of Blyth said: “This is an exciting prospect for our town. We have seen a steady decline in the number of market stalls over the years, so the revitalisation of the market is something the town council was extremely keen to be involved in.

“It is a great opportunity not only for residents and visitors of the town, but also for local businesses and entrepreneurs looking to trade locally, with support with the costs of setting up and trading. We are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in trading.”

The drive to attract new traders is under way and from April 15, an incentive scheme will be introduced for new and existing traders on Fridays and Saturdays.

The first 25 new traders who meet trade criteria and sign up to the scheme will receive a weekly incentive payment for their first 20 weeks of trading.

This is to cover traders expenses, and could add up to £600 if they trade for all 20 weeks.

Terms and conditions apply and those who are interested should contact the county council’s market manager Neil Brown for more information on neil.brown@northumberland.gov.uk or 07909 688174.