A new group has been brainstorming to help improve footfall in Bideford Pannier Market.

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"The fact we are on a hill shouldn’t be a barrier, we should be playing on it."

Louise Middleton, of Golden Bear Belts

A DYNAMIC group set up to promote Bideford’s pannier market has big plans for the future and is already seeing improvements.

Traders have long been wary that the market was losing footfall, but the new Market and Old town Regeneration Group (M.O.R.E) has set out to change that.

“We want to show people this is a really dynamic place to be, and encourage more people to come to the market, both to browse and to trade,” said M.O.R.E secretary, Fiona Jones.

The group has set up a Facebook page to help promote the monthly events they are now running, which included a Pirate Day on Saturday seeing more than 70 children take part in activities including making eye patches.

Fiona added: “Everything we do is voluntary and done for the love of the market; our Jubilee weekend was also a huge success and we have plenty of events lined up for the rest of the year.”

M.O.R.E chairman, Malcolm Hudson, said: “Butcher’s Row has really become a thriving creative hub and we want to encourage people up from the High Street area to come and have a look around.”

The group has also come up with several ideas to draw people in, including the possibility of housing the farmer’s market during winter.

Louise Middleton, of Golden Bear Belts in Butcher’s Row, said: ““We’ve been trying to think of ways to overcome barriers stopping people visiting, for example the steep hill.

“Frome market in Somerset has made a feature of the fact they are on a hill, and we thought that was great – the fact we are on a hill shouldn’t be a barrier, we should be playing on it.”

Anybody interested in getting involved with M.O.R.E, trading in the market or for information on the latest events, click the link on the top right of the page or email bidefordmore@yahoo.co.uk

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