Community company steps in to run Ossett food and craft market

Building Ossett Better (BOB) will be taking over the running of the Saturday markets held in Ossett.'L to R) Fay Hanmer, John Whiteman, David Jones, Mark Ellerker.'w313a316
Building Ossett Better (BOB) will be taking over the running of the Saturday markets held in Ossett.'L to R) Fay Hanmer, John Whiteman, David Jones, Mark Ellerker.'w313a316
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Ossett will run its own special produce market after Wakefield Council announced it was no longer prepared to run the monthly event.

The Building Ossett Better (BOB) community interest company has stepped in to run the food and craft market, which has taken place on the fourth Saturday of each month for many years.

And it intends to breathe new life into the town centre fixture, which has dwindled so much in recent years that it has been left with as few as two loyal traders turning up with their goods.

BOB, which began as a local business forum in 2011 but became a registered community interest company earlier this year, has secured new stallholders and will host family entertainment every month.

And all proceeds from running the event will go back into improving the town, and supporting Ossett-based projects.

BOB chairman John Whiteman said: “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to negotiate with the council, who have been very supportive, to keep the market running.

“This is the most major initiative that BOB has undertaken and is a big step forward for us since becoming a community interest company.

“We’ve taken the initiative for Ossett to look after Ossett and we want to show that solutions can always come from within the town.

“A lot of towns are struggling to maintain their markets and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make sure Ossett does not lose this important event and actually works to improve it.”

The new event, called Ossett’s Yorkshire Food and Craft Market, will start on Saturday, April 27, from 10am to 4pm.

April’s event will include a treasure trail which will encourage people to visit shops and Ossett landmarks for the chance to win prizes.

And a classic car exhibition and maypole dancing will feature at the market on Saturday, May 25.

Mr Whiteman said: “We’re looking to attract visitors from outside the town to show them what we’ve got here in Ossett.

“The idea is that every market will have some entertainment to complement it. We want people to come and enjoy looking around our market and enjoy visiting the great range of independent shops we have in our town.”

Coun David Dagger said: “It is really positive to see the local business community stepping up to take on the delivery of the Ossett farmers market.

“This approach has worked well in other similar towns and we will do what we can to support BOB in their work.”

BOB’s next meeting will take place on Tuesday, at Cafe Wellgate, at the Wellgate Centre, at 5.30pm.