Thriving market a boost for village

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A REJUVENATED market is flourishing in a village centre dominated by supermarkets.

Bispham Market, in Red Bank Road, has undergone improvement works over the past 18 months that has seen the market left with just one vacant stall.

Market owner Andrew Green said: “We’ve spent the best part of 18 months giving the market a spruce-up and change-around and it’s almost full as well.

“The move gave us one small stall at the front of the market and I’ve already had interest expressed in it.”

The changes in the market have been welcomed by the market traders in the vibrant village centre.

David Foster and his father have moved their furniture business from Blackpool into the market.

Formerly trading in Blackpool as Lords Furniture, the new venture has become Village Furniture in its new home.

Mr Foster said: “We’ve been here about three weeks and it is going well.

“It hasn’t affected us at all, really.

“We were in the town centre paying higher bills and there wasn’t that much trade in town due to all of the road and improvement works.

“I’d suggest more people get themselves into markets – it’s a little community that helps each other.

“Those sentiments were shared by Ann Aspinall of A&D Cards. She said: “The opportunity came up for the stall and I just wanted to do it – to be my own boss.

“It is like a little family – a community.

“I just love doing this job and meeting the locals who you get to know.”

The market is thriving despite two supermarkets being mere steps away from its front door.

Ian Holland of All 4 Pets said that the chain stores could help the market.

He said: “Sometimes the supermarkets help.

“People come into the village to them and then find there’s a market here as well.

“We still get people coming in surprised to find there’s a market in Bispham.

“Because of that, we purposely stock things they don’t sell in the supermarkets.

“There’s a lot of people with pets in the village so we do very well.

“It get’s really busy, especially when the mums come in after dropping off or picking their children up from school.”

And Doug Guest of Doug’s Key Bar said: “It’s better than it has been considering it has been a bad time for everyone economically.

“But you look down the market now and it looks nice and busy. It has made a difference and helps all of us. We all try and stay competitive.”

Mr Green added: “We wanted to update the market for the stallholders – without them we wouldn’t have a business so it is about looking after them.