July 24 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
People are being urged to support Fakenham market traders, some of which have reported a 50% drop in takings since the relocation of the weekly event due to a major fire.
Most are desperate to return to the Market Place as quickly as possible but have been told they may have to wait a further four to six weeks, or longer, as the complex clear-up operation continues.
Keith Osborn, co-founder of the Fakenham Area Business Community (FABCOM), said: “We need to ensure the fire and the work going on as a result of it do not interfere with the traders continuing to do well in Fakenham.
“The market brings a lot of people into the town and I would urge everyone to support the market traders and the businesses in general.”
After the fire of May 25, efforts are continuing to make the Upper Market area safe and open to the public.
The Fakenham market, held every Thursday and regarded as one of the best East Anglia, has temporarily moved to the Bridge Street car park. North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), which owns the car park, allow Fakenham Town Council to hold them there for free.
Kevin McAlister, 63, who runs a handbag stall, said: “We don’t get as many locals here as normal because the market is now taking up a 100 or so car parking spaces.
“The councils have done well to keep the market going but we need to get back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Michelle Bullen, who runs a jewellery stall, said: “People have to walk through the market on their way through town, where it is normally held, so we are naturally much busier there.”
Colin Earl, 81, however, who has sold fish at Fakenham markets for 60 years, said his takings have not been affected.
A spokesman for NNDC said: “The council is in regular dialogue with the contractors, who are working to get the market reinstated to its original location as quickly as possible. But the most important thing is the safety of the people carrying out the work.
“There is some complicated work to be done and, at present, we are unable to give a firm indication of when it will be completed.”