'Support your local market and traders' urges council as number of visitors double in last two weeks
Wakefield Council has welcomed new figures showing double the number of visitors have visited Pontefract and Castleford markets in a fortnight.
With Government’s restrictions having lifted and non-essential traders having been welcomed back – more shoppers are choosing to visit the district’s vibrant markets.
As the district continues its recovery from the pandemic, the council welcomes the support that residents are giving to their local market, and to local supplier businesses, and is urging others to further boost support by paying a visit.
There’s a great selection of local produce in the district’s markets, which are convenient, and help people to limit travel, in line with the national guidance.
By choosing to shop at a market, shoppers support their local traders as well as the many local businesses that supply produce – and this has benefits for communities too – with local job opportunities, and support for the local and district economy.
Latest figures show that visitor numbers have more than doubled over recent weeks to both Pontefract and Castleford markets.
Mark Lynam, Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “It is excellent news that as we begin to see lockdown measures ease, and the economy beginning to open up, more people are choosing to visit their local market.
“Markets are great places to visit and are important for many residents and communities in our district. We continue to encourage people to visit, and we look forward to welcome more visitors over the coming months, and for everyone to follow the social distancing measures that we have in place.”
In general, busiest times are at the weekend markets, and on weekday mornings, with quieter times on weekday early afternoons - reflecting the pre-pandemic pattern.
The council is investing £4.8m in markets. It is holding events to encourage visitors to enjoy their shopping, including the recent St George’s Day celebrations, as well as hosting other themed events and live music in spring and summer at the markets.
People visiting the district’s markets are advised to follow the latest Covid-19 guidance. The number of cases has reduced in the district but are still higher than national rates.
The council has installed signage at the entrances to remind visitors to keep protecting each other by practising hand, face, space.
Businesses have been supported to reopen safely and enforcement teams are carrying out safety checks to ensure they are COVID secure as restrictions continue to be lifted.