Shropshire

Shrewsbury Farmers' Market grows 200% in six months

Vegetable stall
Image caption A maximum of two stalls may sell the same produce, Mr James said

A Shropshire farmers' market that was at risk of closing down six months ago has expanded by 200%, organisers said.

Shrewsbury Farmers' Market had dwindled to 10 stalls but had 36 stalls in July selling local wines, meats and jams.

The monthly event held in the town square was taken over by Asterly Events and relaunched in February on Fridays.

Organiser Stuart James said 10 stalls was not viable but he had introduced a flat payment for stallholders and there was now a diversity of products.

"The number of stalls was very small and the produce on offer was very limited and that was reflected in the public not turning up in enough numbers to make it viable.

"It was also quite an expensive market for small producers to come to, because they were paying membership and audit fees," he added.

A maximum of two stalls may sell the same produce, Mr James said.

Membership and audit fees have been scrapped and a flat payment has been introduced, with VAT exemptions for small producers.

The challenge is now to get enough people to shop in the farmers' market to ensure the extra number of producers make enough money to return, Mr James said.

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