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In the news: Go Trade partners in England and France celebrate the re-opening of markets together safely

The Go Trade project has been successful in securing a further extension for another year. Now due to end in March 2022, this has given more scope to help with the challenges we have all faced this past year. The project aims to put in place opportunities for market traders to help them to recover and thrive long into the future.

In England, local governments are continuing to follow the road map to ease the country out of lockdown. With spring bringing some warmer weather and small steps being taken every month, the country is welcoming people back into the market place, with extra safety measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of shoppers.

Basildon Market along with Go Trade are looking to host some fun days in late July and throughout August. Ensuring the extra safety precautions are in place in these uncertain times is an extra priority. With free rides and activities, it will be an opportunity to celebrate the return to the markets safely together.

The roadmap has already allowed Basildon Market to reopen safely and it is welcoming local residents back to the marketplace.

In Great Yarmouth, the market is currently undergoing major redevelopment works. The borough council's exciting vision of town centre regeneration and revitalisation has started to become a reality for residents and visitors. The £4.6m investment will see the market facilities significantly improved in the heart of the Market Place area, with new units under an architecturally-striking wooden canopy - a unique design which will mean the market is brighter, more inviting and compliments the historic setting.

The Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership (GYTCP) is working closely with the borough council and other partners on measures to encourage people back in to the town centre as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted. This includes a schedule of events during the coming months as part of a funded programme of activities with increased animations and marketing.

In Gravesend Borough Market, the permanent food traders have continued to operate throughout as take away services, but all non-essential retailers were pleased to be able to return when the current level of restrictions lifted a few weeks ago. Moving forward, the return of more themed markets and event days is being planned, including Vinyl record fair and Vegan markets which were started through the Go Trade project. Gravesham Borough Council is also looking forward to putting on evening market events with entertainment to really welcome back customers and help traders recover from a very difficult year. In the summer, market events will be linked to the Gravesend's Bloomin' Lovely theme - such as flower markets and workshops. And although we haven't even had summer yet, we will be planning our Autumn programme and winter activities

In France, where the government roadmap also allows COVID-19 restrictions to be progressively listed, in the area of the Communauté de Communes du Pays de Lumbres, two night markets will be hosted in June and in July, in the respect of the sanitary protocol in force. These events will bring breath and joy to the local population as well as markets traders. Summer events in the new weekly markets are also planned to celebrate the return to "an almost normal life."

The Caen la mer Tourist Office continues to work to enhance and promote the quality of markets in Caen, and as such is planning a 4-page editorial on Caen la mer, gourmet capital of Normandy, with MasterChef magazine to be published in July; a special focus will be made on markets. In addition, the Tourist Office is hoping to welcome English bloggers, once international travel restrictions are eased and it is safe to do so, as part of a blog trip similarly to what was organised in autumn 2020 with French bloggers.

As an information and counseling network for agriculture and rural development, the Chambre d'Agriculture Nord-Pas de Calais is a partner of the project Go Trade. In this context, courses are suggested for all exhibitors from Go Trade's markets. 'Stands enhancement', 'Online selling', 'Negotiation skills', 'Communication', are amongst many interesting subjects for merchants seeking to increase their revenues. Moreover, to promote local products consumption and encourage producers to improve and diversify their operations, the Chamber of Agriculture can support creation and reinvigoration of existing markets sponsored by collectivities and local cities in the Hauts-de-France region.

Chairman of Basildon Council's Regeneration and Economic Development Committee, Councillor Anthony Hedley, said "In the final year of Go Trade, the support this project gives our markets will be invaluable in helping them recover and evolve."

"With our markets back open and shoppers returning, it's great that plans for activities and events to encourage footfall in a safe and managed way are already in progress. We want our markets to be busy and our traders and shoppers safe."

Go Trade is funded with €3.8 million from the EU-funded Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, with additional support coming from local partners. Go Trade stands for Growth of the Visitor Economy through Traditional Markets, Employment and Skills. The scheme started in late 2017 and will conclude in 2022.

For more information visit: Go Trade - Promoting markets in Southern England and Northern France or follow them on Twitter @GoTrade_Markets

ENDS

Published on Thursday 3 June 2021

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