Traders back market campaign

A HARTLEPOOL market is taking part in a national campaign inspired by TV’s Queen of Shops.

Traders of the town’s Thursday outdoor market are supporting the Love Your Market campaign by offering visitors the chance to win a host of prizes.

The initiative has been influenced by Mary Portas’ report on the future of British high streets.

Love Your Local Market fortnight takes place between June 23 and July 8 and is being backed by Central Government and the Markets Alliance

More than 300 markets up and down the country are supporting the campaign which aims to highlight the importance markets play in the community.

To support the national campaign, customers at Hartlepool market will be entered into a raffle with each stall holders providing a prize.

Adrian Hurst, principal environmental officer with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The campaign is trying to boost markets and also give traders a and businesses a boost.

“It will be of benefit to Hartlepool if it can increase footfall and improve the market.

“It is trying to draw new people into the market who may not realise we have a market in the town.

“All traders are donating a prize to a raffle and anyone who makes a purchase off one of the market stalls will be given a free raffle ticket into the draw.”

Prizes up for grabs will include everything from clothing to household goods and DVDs.

People who bought anything at last week’s market will also be entered into the draw due to take place at around 10am.

Hartlepool market is held in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre’s west car park behind the Yorkshire Bank from 9am to 3.30pm.

Retail guru Mary Portas presented a series of recommendations to the Government to help turn around the nation’s struggling high streets.

The Portas Review recommends the establishment of “town teams” to bring together landlords, retailers, council officers and community representatives to drive forward the improvements.

Hartlepool council has been awarded £100,000 to help revitalise the town centre as part of the £10m High Street Innovation Fund.

But Mayor Stuart Drummond has questioned whether a the TV celebrity’s bid to revamp the high street will work.

The mayor, who is portfolio holder for regeneration, economic development and skills, welcomed the funding but ruled out ideas such as scrapping car parking charges to encourage more shoppers.