Sunday, 15 December will be the last chance to visit the traditional Hampshire Farmers’ Market in Andover, following the organisation’s recent decision to withdraw from the town. Recognising that this is a key event in Andover’s calendar, and following widespread support from existing Hampshire Farmers’ Market traders, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has stepped in to save the day. Drawing together existing farmers and other local stall holders, the Council has put together a brand new Andover Farmers’ and Crafts Market, which is set to run throughout 2014.
Visitors to the new market can browse all their favourite traders including Hampshire Game, Greenfield Pork and a Market for All Seasons, as well as taking advantage of a number of new independent small holdings such as Oaktrack Smallholding, Anna Valley Chillies and Mrs Mitchell’s Kitchen and Garden, artisan crafts people and much more. The market will be back from March, and will be bigger and better than ever before!
This Sunday will be the last chance this year to take advantage of the variety of local produce and potential presents on offer at the Hampshire Farmers’ Market, which will be joined by the Retailers’ Out and About stalls. Spend an hour or two browsing for last minute gifts or take home some mouth-watering local food stuffs to indulge in over Christmas; all set against the backdrop of festive music from Test Valley Brass in the Time Ring.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “Farmers’ Markets have been an established and important part of the calendar of events in Andover High Street. They attract visitors from Andover and its surrounding villages; involve local farmers and traders within our community and encourage people to keep things local. In recognition of this the Council has secured a major boost to the town by retaining the previous Hampshire Farmers’ Market traders and adding many more.
“The all new Andover Farmers’ and Crafts Markets will run throughout 2014, and are part of a broader programme of almost twenty other events planned across the year to continue to encourage people to visit Andover High Street and support our town. These events have resulted in a significant increase in footfall by as much as 18 per cent on Sundays and some 40 per cent on weekdays when events are held. This is yet another example of the successes that have continued to be achieved as a result of the Andover Summit, and marks the Council’s commitment to the town.”
The first Andover Farmers’ and Crafts market will take place on Sunday, 16 March 2014. Anyone interested in taking a pitch at the market should contact Heather Whittam, Andover Summit High Street Events Working Group lead, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 01264 368814