Leigh-on-Sea Town Council recently made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend their Leigh Farmers’ Market that takes place monthly at Leigh Community Centre.
The market has been running since 2000, and is one of the longest running markets in the Essex area. Due to the pandemic the market was closed for around 18 months, relaunching for it’s 21st Birthday in July 2021. Although the relaunch was a great success with a variety of stalls and a good turnout from the public, the market has struggled to continue this success over the last year.
Staff at the Council who organise the market believe this to be due to a number of factors; the decline in stalls, especially the loss of a meat and bread stall, decline in footfall, the frequency of the market and the cost-of-living crisis all contributing to the market not being as popular as it once was. Staff have trialled running the market on Saturdays as well as themed seasonal events for Spring and Summer, but ultimately these too have suffered from poor attendance.
At the Council’s Community and Culture meeting on 14th June, the Councillors reviewed the markets and unfortunately, decided to make the June market on the 17th, the last date for the time being. Councillors as well as staff and a number of regular stall holders will now be forming a working party to discuss how to move forward and bring the market back to its former glory, hopefully by the autumn.
The stallholders would like to thank all of their loyal customers for supporting the market and assure residents of Leigh of their intention to continue to supply customers in the interim period and moving forward.
“We feel passionately that this market has an important role to play in the local community especially in the current global climate where some food shortages are a certainty and where buying local can have such a positive impact on the environment. The market has historically proven itself to be a fantastic help for small local food suppliers who can discuss their product (and their passion) with the community, and get important feedback as their business develops.” says regular stallholder Ann Cushion, who sells local honey and eggs.
If you would be interested in providing a stall for the farmers market, please get in touch with the council at email@example.com
A full list of stall holders with their contact details can be found on our website, for those who want to make orders during this interim period, visit https://www.leighonseatowncouncil.gov.uk/leigh-farmers-markets