THIS week the News Telegraph is asking the question: Why is Bakewell Market thriving while Ashbourne’s market is dying a death?
Each week, a falling number of plucky traders turn out early to Ashbourne to set up their pitch to offer products to their loyal customers but, on both Thursdays and Saturdays, Ashbourne’s market is looking increasingly less inviting.
By contrast, the Monday market in Bakewell is buzzing with a huge number of stalls and visitors flocking from miles around to shop there.
For many, including traders we have spoken to who sell at both markets, the rot set in for Ashbourne on the day the cattle market was closed. In Bakewell the cattle market is believed to bring in a huge number of shoppers but other towns manage to run a successful market without the sale of livestock running alongside so is that the only reason?
Traders Lyndsey Ford and Andrea Hayes, who sell gift cards on the Thursday and Saturday markets, see their double stall as the perfect business to fit in with their hectic lifestyles but admit it is becoming increasingly difficult.
They would both like to find a way of promoting the market to a wider audience and feel more can be done by the district council.
Lyndsey said: “It’s a real chicken and egg situation. Visitors won’t want to come to the market until it has more stalls, but more stallholders won’t come until we have more visitors.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council said: “The district council operates weekly stall markets in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth, and it’s clear from a review of all these operations that some need more help than others.
“We will be committing resources to hopefully improve the situation for those traders who need the most support – and indeed have in recent weeks appointed internally a new head of community development with the aim of driving forward new initiatives.
“So far as Ashbourne is concerned, we have already arranged meetings with traders and Ashbourne Town Council at the end of this month.”