NEW traders are being sought in an effort to boost shopping in Hambleton’s markets.

Free pitches are being offered as Northallerton and Thirsk take part in the national “Love Your Local Market” initiative next month.

Hambleton District Council will offer three free pitches to brand new traders wanting to try plying their wares in the towns.

They are backing the “First Pitch” start-up scheme run by the National Market Traders Federation which allows new traders to trade free for five days during the Love Your Local Market promotion.

If they are then approved, trading can continue for a further 12 months through a stepped rental scheme, reaching 100 per cent rent by month eleven.

The initiative is part of a package of measures from the council to support growth in the local economy and boost visitors to the markets. New leaflets are being developed, a twitter feed is already proving popular and signage is being improved.

The Love Your Local Market campaign takes place from May 15 to 29. In Northallerton the main focus of events will be on May 25, followed by Thirsk two days later. There will be treasure trails, live music and competitions as well as two busy markets to visit.

To be considered for one of the First Pitches apply online at or call 01226 749021.