Notice from Project Leader - See 'Read more' for details:

It is after much discussion, soul searching and regrets that I must inform you that the Country Market is no longer viable and as such is now closed.

We have been struggling for some time to maintain a sufficiently high number of vendors offering a varied range of produce to the public, while achieving sufficient shoppers to justify the input and attendance by the vendors – each depended on the other. In all eighteen food vendors dropped out at various times for a variety of reasons.

Public attendance over our 24 monthly events totalled 4,244 with monthly figures varying between 363 at the first and only 85 shoppers at the last event. Average figures over the last six months have halved.

The Project’s income came solely by leasing the tables and from which the cost of renting the Murray Hall was subtracted. No set up, ongoing administration or organisational costs were carried by the project with the total benefit being for the community. The income allowed the purchase of fourteen high quality tables, six café/games tables, rubber flooring for the Murray Hall storage area, two ’atomic’ wall clocks, fridge and kettle that have been gifted to the Community Council. A further £830 (to be verified) is ‘red circled’ in the Initiative funds for tangible use by the Community Council on a future project. Other financial benefits were to the various clubs that chose to operate the café concession and to the Community Council for rent – a total of £2498.00. All of this far exceeded our initial objectives. The benefit to the area economy from both the tourist and ‘travelling local' pound can not be quantified. It is sad that the provision of a regular social gathering is lost.

My sincere thanks are extended to the Event Support Team, a small group of volunteers that have planned, self funded and managed the Project. That undying support from Carole Ashton, Brian Ashton, Madeline Maxwell and Beverly Norcross was critical to the Country Market’s success. Thanks are also extended those whose participation in the past contributed to the outcome, to the Church Congregational Board for the car park facility, to Alison Parker and others who have continually advertised the events on their premises and car windows and particularly to all who gave their support through attending.

If anyone wishes to know more about the project please feel free to contact me for the definitive response.

All the best
Brian Maxwell
18th August 2009