A determined trader in Melton Mowbray has stepped in to save the town’s popular Friday Farmers’ Market.
Fishmonger Stuart Scarborough, who runs Scarborough Fare, has vowed to take on the running of the market, which has been serving the people of Melton for 19 years.
His action comes after the Melton Times reported how the Friday Farmers’ Market, which is a favourite of Prince Charles, was facing closure.
Operators of Melton Cattle Market, where the Farmers’ Market is held, say it was making a loss for them and that closure was an option.
But Mr Scarborough said: “I have been trading here for about 13 years and could not see the market close.
“I told the Cattle Market operators that I would take on the responsibility for collecting the rents for them and ensuring the area is left clean and tidy and the gates are locked.
“Customers can buy everything they need food wise for the weekend from the Farmers’ Market.
“There’s free parking here and I’ve even lined up a couple of new traders to come here. The car boot sale will become a bric-a-brac market and I am also appealing for more traders to join us.”
Mr Scarborough’s offer was accepted by Cattle Market bosses who handed over the keys to him yesterday.
He said: “Everything will remain the same and I will officially take over on December 7.
“I am delighted it can carry on - it has been a part of Melton life 19 years. It is a lovely place to come and shop.”
Hugh Brown, chief executive of the Cattle Market, said: “I am very happy for Mr Scarborough to run the Friday Farmers’ Market. It was not working for us and we needed another way of operating it.”
The Cattle Market is the focus of new plans by its owners Melton Borough Council, which is looking at ways to enhance the market to attract more visitors to the town. These include turning the car boot sale into an enhanced Sunday Market from December 2 with a view to creating a full weekend market early next year.
Traders who would like to join the Farmers’ Market should call Mr Scarborough on 07971918130