A ONCE-FLOURISHING farmers' market that was in danger of closing due to dwindling stalls will be re-launched this weekend.
In its heyday, Sedgefield Farmers' Market featured up to 17 stalls, selling everything from plants and eggs, to cakes and meat.
However, in recent years, the number of traders pitching up each month has fallen considerably and, in bad weather, there could be as few as one or two stalls.
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Sedgefield Development Trust, a charity that funds community projects, was determined to save the market and, on April 1, it took over responsibility from Sedgefield Town Council.
And this Sunday (April 6), the revitalised Sedgefield Farmers' Market will open for business.
Roger Clubley, chairman of Sedgefield Development Trust, said: “This market started in 2003 and was very successful but, for various reasons, it has deteriorated in recent years.
“We have been working closely with the traders and the town council ahead of the re-launch and we hope the market will flourish once again.”
A wide range of traders have already signed up for the market, including Parlour Made Artisan Cheese in Mordon, Granny’s Kitchen in Darlington, Spicymonkey in Durham, New Level Garden Nursery in Coxhoe, Manor Farm Kitchen in Sedgefield and the Mellanby family from Hutton Henry, near Hartlepool.
Shoppers will be able to stock up on meat, game, eggs, cakes, pies, plants, fruit, vegetables and a host of other goodies.
There will also be live music and a community stall for Sedgefield charities and clubs, such as Sedgefield Harriers, to promote their activities.
Joanne Martin, of Manor Farm Kitchen, has recently reopened her business and is looking forward to selling her homemade cakes and biscuits.
“I was a regular at the farmers market a few years ago and I am delighted to be back,” she said. “It is great to see so much effort being put into the market.
“It used to be fantastic and attracted people from outside the area. I hope lots of people will come along and support us on Sunday.”
Councillor Mel Carr, the Mayor of Sedgefield, added: “Sedgefield has been a market town for more than 700 years and it is important to protect this.”
The market takes place on the green from 8.30am to 1.30pm on the first Sunday of the month.
Businesses that are interested in running a stall should contact Mr Clubley on 01740-620609.