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Swaffham’s first Friday evening market aims to pull in coast-bound weekend holidaymakers

PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 August 2012

Getting ready for Swaffham's first Friday evening market - From left, Mayor Terry Jennison, Debbie Brown, town clerk Richard Bishop, stallholder Kevin McAlister, stallholder Charlie Smith and Yvette Barwood from Eveybody Health and Fitness. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Getting ready for Swaffham's first Friday evening market - From left, Mayor Terry Jennison, Debbie Brown, town clerk Richard Bishop, stallholder Kevin McAlister, stallholder Charlie Smith and Yvette Barwood from Eveybody Health and Fitness. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A new Friday evening market designed to tempt weekend visitors to stop off in Swaffham on their drive to the north coast will set up shop for the first time this week.

More than 30 stalls selling a variety of goods from Indian foods and chutney to jewellery, candles and wooden crafts will take part in the first of three evening events scheduled for this year.

The town centre is set to come alive with yoga dance demonstrations, live music and a bouncy castle and play bus for children at the market, which will run between 6pm and 9pm on Friday August 17.

Swaffham mayor Terry Jennison said: “This is an exiting new event in Swaffham and it is hoped it will be a huge success not only for the visitors but also for the many traders who have booked to attend.

“The shops will also benefit from the late night opening, and with live music and entertainment this is hoped to be a well attended event.”

Some traders on the town’s Saturday market has raised concerns it could affect their trade, but Kevin McAlister, who runs an Italian leather stall, backed the plans.

He said: “It’s to support the town and support the shops in the town and to create more footfall. Especially in an evening, a market will help everyone.

“I think people driving through Swaffham will think ‘What’s this? Let’s stop’.”

Organisers hope the closure of the road between the Buttercross and Legends Café between 2pm and 11pm will allow people to wander around the stalls freely, visit shops and enjoy live music and entertainment.

About 12 parking places will be lost while the road is closed, but free parking will be available on the Market Place and the Theatre Street Car Park.

Further evening markets are planned for Friday September 14 to coincide with the Brecks Food and Drink Festival in the town, and Friday December 7, a week after the Christmas lights are switched on.

For information contact Debbie Brown on 01760 722922 or email debbie@swaffhamtowncouncil.gov.uk

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