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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Group’s market bid for Cockermouth

Proposals to revive Cockermouth’s market have been put forward by a community group.

Riversmeet Community Co-operative wants to start talks about holding bustling markets in the town, as it believes that national retailers are taking business away from local traders.

The group is working with the Plunkett Foundation’s National Local Food Systems Initiative, which has helped to reinvent local markets across the UK.

Currently, the town hosts a market once a month on a Saturday in Market Place, which has about three or four stalls.

Rick Cross, of Riversmeet, said: “Small towns like Cockermouth have experienced a reduced diversity in local products and services and shrinking job options for young people.

“The profits of our weekly shop are coming out of the local economy and what remains supports the dwindling cluster of truly local shops and suppliers that most locals and visitors say is what they like about our town.

“Now our street market has shrunk to a point that it has become commercially non-viable.”

Mr Cross is working with Allerdale council on the idea and said he had received a positive response from Cockermouth and District Chamber of Trade.

He said: “I think most of the community feels the market is important to the town and this is an opportunity for them to let us know their views.

“We want the community to benefit more widely as the market has been the beating heart of the town since the 13th century.

“The market has so many social, community and local economic benefits and it needs people to come together and explore the possibilities.”

Riversmeet will start a small monthly craft and produce market.

The first will be held on March 2, from 10am to 3pm, at the organisation’s community resource centre on Market Street.

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