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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Festive markets hailed a success for town centre

BARROW’S Christmas markets have been hailed a success after providing a festive boost to the town centre economy.

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FAMILY FUN: Barrow Christmas market offered more than just shopping – a funfair and food stalls also drew the crowds, helping trade across the town centreJON GRANGER REF: 50042162B000

The markets, organised by the Evening Mail, returned for the second year running during the past two weekends.

Barrow Borough Council pumped £10,000 into the event and leader, Councillor Dave Pidduck, believes the knock-on effect has been worth the investment.

He said: “I’ve spoken to some of the retailers in Dalton Road and the feedback seems to have been positive with an increase in footfall and people going into the shops as well as the markets.

“If we can draw people in, they suddenly realise there’s a shop there that sells a particular item they want, or something they didn’t think they could get in the town centre.”

Cumbria County Council also provided £10,000 and Councillor Ray Guselli, chairman of the local committee which agreed to the funding, said: “A great many people attended and I understand from some shops that income was up against typical weekend trade. That is good news.

“Barrow does need and deserve some special events and this was another opportunity where councils were able to contribute towards such provision and hopefully bring some festive cheer to shoppers and traders.

“I was delighted to see the craft shop from Cavendish Street taking full advantage of the event and with two stalls last weekend they demonstrated that some retailers entered into the spirit and took advantage of the events.”

Emma Halligan, sales assistant at Icon Menswear in Dalton Road said the markets had provided a boost to custom and Simon Craig, manager at Marks and Spencer, said: “I thought it was fantastic and really brought the atmosphere into the town centre.

“It was like Dalton Road of old. I’m a national retailer, so it wasn’t for my benefit, it was for the independents. But in terms of feeling Christmassy and creating a buzz, it was a great idea.”

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