Diss country market to close due to economic downturn

A country market that has become part of the life of a Norfolk town is set to end at Christmas due to falling trade.

For over 31 years the sight of producers selling homemade produce including cakes and crafts has become a familiar one at Diss Area Country Markets which have been held at various venues around the town.

However, on December 10 the remaining eight producers will sell their wares for the final time due to dwindling trade which has seen them lose �500 a month.

Suzanne Kayne, secretary of Diss Area Country Markets, said at the market's peak there were over 20 producers involved with the country market, which started out being held weekly at a premises in Frenze Road.

However, since then the number of producers involved with the market has dropped to six and they now man stalls at the farmers market in Market Place on the second Saturday of each month, instead of having their own market to promote their goods.

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Mrs Kayne said the falling trade was due to the economic downturn, but also older customers were dying and not being replaced by the young, who preferred to either shop at supermarkets or make the produce themselves.

'The economy is going downhill and and we found we were taking home more produce than we were selling and at the end of 2006 we decided it was not going to work anymore having a weekly market, so we decided to join the once a month farmers' market on the second saturday of every month,' she added.

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From 1980 until 2005, the market was based in Frenze Road before moving to the town's United Reformed Church in Mere Street and then becoming part of the farmers market in Market Place. The future of the farmers market is not in jeopardy.

The producers still involved- Suzanne Kayne, Pearl Fisher, Mika McGuinness, Barbara and George Walker, Diane Jackman, Angela Bigley, Jack Lee- sell a variety of goods they have made including wooden objects, cakes, jams, chutneys, pickles, country pasties and gingerbread men.

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