A high rise rent demand by the management company for Falkland Square has forced Crewkerne Farmers’ Market to find a new home. The monthly Saturday market, running in the town centre for 15 years, relocated its fresh local produce stalls, to outside of the Henhayes Community Centre in January. The new site is proving to a be a popular location and the February Farmers’ Market held last Saturday, showed encouraging signs for trade.

Somerset Farmers’ Markets who manage the Crewkerne Farmers’ Market are currently in talks with the trustees at Henhayes Community Centre to see whether the market can have a future there. Joanne Hayers of Somerset Farmers’ Markets told Crewkerne Headlines And Topics: “The Henhayes Community Centre have been fantastic in helping us out on a temporary basis. We are in talks with them about whether the market could have a future on its terrace and surrounds.” Joanne also thanked Crewkerne Town Council for their help and understanding: “Unfortunately public bodies everywhere are limited in their ability to intervene with private landlords,” she said.

CBRE, the real estate management company, acting on behalf on the private owners, presented the demand for the higher rent after the December Farmers’ Market in Falkland Square. The official notification stipulated that ‘no further markets were to take place.’ Somerset Farmers’ Markets understood that there was to be a period of time, in which they could negotiate the new rental demand. They were however advised by CBRE at the end of January, that the rent level was non-negotiable. Joanne Hayers for Somerset Farmers’ Markets confirmed that the demand was for “an inordinately high level of rent.”

Joanne Hayers went on to say: “Markets are important events for town centres. They are an occasion, talking point, bring people in and offer the opportunity for people to congregate and engage with the community. The market enables small local businesses to sell directly to their new customers and strike up a relationship with them. All too many of Britain’s ‘High Streets’ are losing their local food shops. The markets provide an important link back to ‘real’ seasonal food, with low food miles and help to support local British businesses.”

Crewkerne Farmers’ Market takes place every 3rd Saturday in the month. The next one will be on Saturday March 18th. Its present location outside of the Henhayes Community Centre, has the added advantage of customers being able to enjoy refreshments and a sit down in the community centre and is currently proving to be a ‘win, win situation’. The community in Crewkerne hopes that the Farmers’ Market in the town, ‘can continue for many more years to come.’

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