Three of the latest recruits to Fleetwood market say trade is booming and they are looking to grow their businesses.
A national scheme to boost the country’s markets was a hit in the port, which had more applications than anywhere else in the UK.
Successful applicants to the First Pitch initiative, run jointly in the area by the National Market Traders’ Federation and Wyre Council, received support for their businesses for a year.
Three of the eight successful traders are still active six months on and are now looking to expand, while others have left to set up shop on the high street.
Shelley Dixon has already doubled the size of her handmade accessories business, Daisy Daze, and has a separate stall selling household kitchenware and DIY products.
She said: “Trading makes you learn something new every day, for example I’ve learned that Daisy Daze isn’t just for younger customers – I recently had praise from an elderly lady of 78.
“I plan to stay at Fleetwood for the near future as it is a market I feel can grow and change with modern demands.”
Myles Brent, owner of recycled handbag stall Myles’ Bags, said: “Since getting involved with First Pitch, it has helped me gain confidence to interact with new people such as other market traders and new customers.
“The market manager has supported me throughout my start-up and has supported my ideas from the beginning. I am really enjoying being part of Fleetwood Market and plan to expand within the next year.”
Julie Porter, of Oooh Baby, a stall selling hand-made baby clothing, said: “Through trading part-time and spending quality time with my granddaughter I have made a hobby into a flourishing start-up.
“My mentor has also been a massive help – we are currently looking into grants funded by the government to keep Oooh Baby sustainable.”
Market manager Julian Brent was among those offering mentoring support to new traders and welcomed the efforts to boost trade.
He said: “First Pitch is just what is required at the moment for the industry.
“I feel our new traders have brought a fresh atmosphere to Fleetwood Market and the scheme has supported them in every possible way.
“It gives market managers something to offer new start-ups and I have found it to be a huge success. I look forward to joining in again next year.”