The new artisan market in Newcastle-under-Lyme is playing a key role in helping to drive new shoppers into the town.
In a relatively short period, Castle Artisan Market has proved to be very successful, bringing increased footfall as visitors explore the array of artisan traders and take advantage of the Sunday free parking in all council-run car parks.
It has also created a buzz amongst independent traders with a current waiting list of 150 people wanting to have a stall.
Castle Artisan Market co-host Mike Davies said: “We have 60 traders right now selling food, drinks, arts and crafts, and lots more!
“Our ethos is to promote local makers, bakers and creators and not to have too many stalls selling similar products or produce, we want to offer customers quality products with a wide range of price points.
“I think it’s the busiest day of the month right now in the town centre so it’s really helping other local businesses in the town centre who are open on Sunday because it’s driving footfall.”
Mike, who co-hosts the market with his son, Jake, and also independently runs Punx Puds, was approached by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council last year to launch the new market on the third Sunday of every month on The Stones.
The winter lockdown then meant it had to close for a period, but as we have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic, Mike has seen the market go from strength to strength, and he wants it to continue to drive footfall into the town centre to help all the businesses in the town.
“I’m from the town so wanted to do something that will bring more life back into it,” he explained.
“More people were buying online during the lockdowns, but people are now appreciating that you can buy quality produce locally, and we want to help drive up that demand now that restrictions are lifting.
“Our vision is to keep expanding it in a fair way and to really make it a destination market as well, we’ve already seen people coming to visit us from outside of the local area.
“We are also looking at potentially hosting seasonal market dates, such as Christmas and bank holidays, and special one-offs as well.
“We want to try different methods to reach people and also want to work with the BID to engage with local businesses, as it’s not just about the market but about the town centre as well.”
Find Castle Artisan Market on The Stones, Newcastle-under-Lyme
10am-3pm every third Sunday of the month