After a 20-year absence, Clare’s market is to return

Clare Market Place will be filled with traders again for the first time an about 20 years when the market returns on August 19
Clare Market Place will be filled with traders again for the first time an about 20 years when the market returns on August 19
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There will be celebrations in Clare later this month as the town sees the return of its market after an absence of around 20 years.

Following calls from local residents and businesses, St Edmundsbury Council in partnership with Clare Town Council is reinstating the market.

St Edmundsbury, which already runs markets in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill, held a drop-in event in March, asking residents if they wanted a market, how often it should take place, what should it sell and where should it be located.

There was overwhelming support for the market’s return and on Saturday, August 19 the first of Clare’s new monthly markets - which will take place on the third Saturday of each month - will be held on Market Hill between 8.30am and 3.30pm.

Cllr Alaric Pugh who represents Clare on the Borough Council and who is also Cabinet member for Planning and Growth said: “There has been lots of enthusiasm from residents and businesses to re-establish a market in Clare and so I am thrilled that together with Clare Town Council, we are supporting the community in bringing about its return.

“Clare has a brilliant character and charm, and I know that a strong market with an array of stalls can only complement the businesses that we have here in Clare, attracting even more shoppers and visitors, while also becoming a focal point for our community.

“We will also have a free stall each month for new and local businesses to try their hand at trading, which is a great way to encourage the success of the market and of business growth.”

Shoppers to the first market will be able to buy organic fruit and vegetables, freshly made bread, lamb charcuterie, bags, coffee beans, ice cream and flowers. More than a dozen stallholders have already signed up.

If anyone else in interested in trading on the market, contact Sharon Fairweather, market development officer on 01284 757093 or sharon.fairweather@westsuffolk.gov.uk.

Cllr Paul Bishop, Chairman of Clare Town Council which is supporting the market’s return, said: “Our parish survey showed that people were passionate about reinstating Clare market. Now it has returned we all need to make sure that we support it, so that it can go on to become a busy and successful market that brings people into Clare, provides for the community and supports our local economy.”

To celebrate the first market, there will also be children’s entertainment and live music while shoppers will also receive free Love Your Local Market reusable bags (while stocks last).

The new market will feature a free stall available for a Clare based business to give market trading a try. The free stall offers the potential for local businesses to test the waters without any risk, which in turn should help the success of the market. This will be available on a first come, first served basis. Mr Spencer’s Flowers run by Jamie Spencer will be the first Clare business to take advantage of a free stall.

Mr Spencer said: “This is a great opportunity for my new business venture, it has been a number of years since Clare had a florist so to be able to pop up in the town centre once a month means that I can expand my business locally by trading on the re-established market. Since I moved to ‘The Historic Market Town of Clare’ as it says on the sign, the one thing missing was the market so I am very happy that it is coming back to this lovely town.”

There will also be a free stall for Clare-based community groups or charities to use for fundraising. Anyone looking to book this stall should contact Sharon.fairweather@westsuffolk.gov.uk