Thanet Farmers Market will not run this year.
Organisers say the first market of the year, which was scheduled to run in February at St George’s school, will not be taking place and there are currently no markets scheduled for 2018.
The decision has been made for financial reasons.
A market spokesman said: “We have very much enjoyed running the market and feel that is has become a really important part of the Thanet community.
“It has also been great to operate inside but unfortunately the down side of being in such lovely indoor venues is the hire fee that naturally goes with them. And sadly, although the market is still seeing in excess of 500 customers each month and around 25 stalls, it is becoming financially unsustainable.”
The market managers organised the monthly event on a voluntary basis with work also needing to take place between markets. The group say they are no longer able to sustain the numbers of hours needed. This, coupled with the financial situation, means they have had to make the difficult decision to take a break.
Where it began
The market has been operating on a monthly basis since local producers Charlotte Ransom of South Barn, Sarah Bowers of Little Stour Orchard and Martin Karunaratna of Smoke & Spice started it in September 2013.They wanted to create a new and additional opportunity for residents to buy high quality artisan food and drink sourced directly from small, independent local businesses.
They set the market up to run as a Community Interest Company with any profit ploughed back into the community. This has enabled the market to support many local charities and community groups during the four years. These have benefited from free pitches to promote their services and have included Windmill Community Gardens, Kent Wildlife Trust and Thanet Volunteer Bureau.
The event has always been based inside, and has been held in three schools across Thanet, with St George’s School in Broadstairs being the most recent. Being based indoors allowed it to operate whatever the weather. Each month organisers ran a Market Café and provided free children’s activities each month. They also hosted the popular Kids’ Kitchen.
Many loyal stallholders have been there since it began, including Stour Valley Game, Once Upon a Cupcake and Beth’s Mogador. Many craft stalls have also attended the market over the years including Saramica and Girl Mad as Birds.
Sarah, Martin and Charlotte say they are sorry to disappoint their customers and appreciate the loyalty, support and custom that they have shown to the market over the years.
A spokesman added: “If it’s possible, we will try to return at some point in the future in a more sustainable format.”
The market’s social media pages will continue to be maintained so look out for updates there and most if not all of the producers have websites and/or social media accounts detailing where you can find them or buy their products.
For further information please contact the market managers on firstname.lastname@example.org or via social media.