The idea of a new market is being trialled in East Leake, as the Rushcliffe village bounces back from Covid-19.
The event will be at 3pm – 8pm on Friday 11 September, four months later than planned. It was originally scheduled for May, but had to be suspended because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Market Manager and East Leake resident Meg Kozian said: “The delay’s been really frustrating, but we’re now very excited that the market is finally happening.
“We’re determined to ensure it’s a fantastic event, which will attract people not just from East Leake, but from much further afield.”
The market will be on Gotham Road Recreation Field, where the annual village carnival is held. The large area will help with the social distancing measures that will be in place. For example, stalls will be spaced further apart.
On sale will be artisan foods and other high-quality goods, plus refreshments. Market traders and businesses from across the area have expressed an interest in taking part.
The idea of a local market has long been a major talking point in the village. East Leake’s population has grown by more than 1,000 in the last two years as a result of major new housing developments.
The first market will be used to assess levels of demand, in the hope of it becoming a regular monthly event in 2021. ‘Twilight’ hours have been chosen so that people will be able to enjoy the market after work.
It’s been organised by East Leake Traders, a group of local retailers and other business owners who work to promote a vibrant local economy and community. The Traders already stage the village’s annual Christmas lights switch-on, which attracts hundreds of people.
A new East Leake Market Association has been set up to run the event. It’s being backed financially by Rushcliffe Borough Council and by Independent councillor Kevin Shaw, through his local ward fund.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and Chair of the East Leake Growth Board Cllr Gordon Moore is delighted the event is being developed, and that despite the challenges of COVID-19, that local groups have enthusiastically driven on the project.
He said: “It’s brilliant that this market can now be trialled in East Leake, after the pandemic sadly delayed plans for this concept back in May, and that the organisers have found ways to innovate and provide local residents with a taster twilight market next month.
“I’m so pleased that we as a Growth Board have been able to provide funding for this incredibly exciting venture, particularly when so many residents already appear keen to welcome a market to their local village centre.”
Hayley Masom of photography studio Captcha in East Leake has been at the forefront of efforts to coordinate the market for local people, serving on both the market committee and as a member of the Trader’s Association.
She said: “It’s so exciting to be hosting this trial of East Leake Market next month and we can’t wait to find out what local residents think of the concept and consider whether we could launch a more regular market in the village next year.”
Information about East Leake Market can be found on Facebook and Instagram (@eastleakemarket) and at www.eastleakemarket.org.uk. Anyone wanting to have a stall can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.