Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market has received a £39,375 grant from Local Food, a £57.5 million programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which provides funding for projects working to make local food more accessible and affordable to communities.
The money will be used to provide Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market with a proper business structure and sustainable management system, improving the viability of the market as an enterprise and developing it for local food sold from the Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market. This in turn will provide a viable and sustainable economic outlet for local food producers and a readily accessible and affordable source of locally produced food for the local community.
Once the business structure is in place the project has funding to run a series of stallholder led information demonstrations at the market in which individual stallholders will be able to present information to the public about how, where and why they farm or produce the food they are selling. Additionally the project will create a whole new concept of a “farmers market roadshow” whereby the stallholders will go out to local groups who may not have the chance to attend the farmers market .The roadshow will be selling produce but also again have information and talks from the stallholders to explain about their produce and the importance of locally produced food
Katrina Palmer, Committee Member Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market, said,
“The aim of the Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market Sustainability Project is to build on the existing position and strengths of Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market so that the market can continue to grow in a time of economic downturn. Whilst we appreciate the incredibly loyal following of regulars at the market we also appreicate people are having to make hard economic choices at the moment and may not see local food as a priority.We hope through this project we can really communicate to people the importance and incredible quality and value of the products on sale at the market.The market has struggled to be run by a voluntary committee of stallholders with their time already committed in their own businesses – we hope this project gives the market the chance to establish a long term sustainable structure to secure the future of the market itself.”
Local retailer Andy Beck, from The Teesdale Gallery said,
“ The Monthly Farmers’ Market shows off the very best of locally produced food and really complements the wealth of independent retailers here in Barnard Castle. Visitors and locals alike are able to enjoy this great combination.”
Mark Wheddon, Local Food Programme Manager, added by saying:
”Our scheme is all about making local food more accessible and affordable to communities, and this enterprising project promises to do just that. Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market will bring local produce to local people, while helping to secure the future of food growing by inspiring people with events, festivals and cookery demonstrations. We are very pleased to support it.”