Norwich market to open later for Christmas shopping and food nights

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November.
Credit: Sonya Duncan

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November. Credit: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Shoppers will be able to browse Norwich market and enjoy a glass of mulled wine with street food until late when new events begin this weekend.

Norwich Market Nights will see the market open later into the evening, with street food being served, along with hot and cold drinks.

Retail stalls, selling goods including clothing and soaps, will also be open, giving people a chance to do some Christmas shopping.

Toby Westgarth, acting chairman of Norwich Market Traders; Association. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Toby Westgarth, acting chairman of Norwich Market Traders Association. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Toby Westgarth, of Sir Toby's Beers and acting chairman of the Norwich Market Traders Association, said there were two main goals of the events - firstly, to help traders recover after a challenging year, but also to explore opening in the evenings more permanently.

"The long term aim is to build a market into the evenings," he said, "even if it's one weekend a month."

But he said the more immediate benefits would help stallholders come back from months of closure and a drop in trade.

"Traders are trying to make up for lost time," he said. "It could possibly be quite a bleak January and February so they are trying to get in as much business as possible in December, particularly now people are wanting to get out a bit more with lockdown ending."

Shoppers around Norwich Market shopping local and staying safe in masks.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Shoppers around Norwich Market shopping local and staying safe in masks - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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He said all the stalls were working together to forget the challenges of 2020 and bring some positivity to the market.

The events are backed by Norwich City Council, with the market toilets set to be open for the evenings and the usual security in place.

The first Norwich Market Nights will run from Thursday, December 3 to Saturday, December 5, with others set to be announced down the line.

Each stall will have its own opening times, but Mr Westgarth said they anticipate the market being open until roughly 9pm.

Since the first lockdown was eased, new safety measures have been introduced at the market, including a one-way system marked out on the floor.

People who attend the events are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear a mask unless they eating and drinking or seated.