People urged to 'shop local' as Barnsley's outdoor market re-opens
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Outdoor traders returned to their stalls yesterday (June 1), following the government's easing of lockdown restrictions.
Barnsley Council has been praised by Joe Harrison, chief executive of The National Market Traders Federation, for not asking stallholders to pay rent until October, whether they decide to trade or not.
Mr Harrison said that yesterday's reopening went 'better than expected', and that traders were glad to be back.
"The Barnsley Market team have done an incredible job getting it ready. They've thought outside the box and got prepared ahead of time.
"Barnsley has a lovely market at the heart of the town centre's investment, and I use it as an example for other towns.
"On the day there was a lovely feeling, and we had the brilliant weather. It went really well, better than expected.
"Customers felt safe, and traders were full of praise for the council for looking after them. It was a really difficult situation which has been handled brilliantly."
Mr Harrison says it is important for Barnsley residents to use their town's independent shops, and stressed the importance of shopping locally.
"Barnsley has some great independent local shops as well as the market, and it's important people use those shops to boost the local economy."
Although the outdoor market is now up and running, the indoor market in the Glassworks is set to follow on June 15.
"The indoor market is a different issue - people have been out of the habit of going to the market for the past ten weeks, so it will be about getting people back into market shopping," added Mr Harrison.
"Non-food retail has suffered greatly in the last few years, but I see a future where markets are far more important, and a focal point of town centres."
The NMFT has produced a bounce back guide for market traders and shop owners who are looking for advice on how to prepare to reopen, which can ve viewed here: https://www.nmtf.co.uk/info/bounceback/