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West Suffolk: New markets development officer talks about her plans

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 January 2014

Sharon Fairweather, new markets development officer for west Suffolk.

Sharon Fairweather, new markets development officer for west Suffolk.

Archant

The woman who has been appointed in a new role to develop the markets in west Suffolk said they should be viewed as tourist attractions.

Sharon Fairweather is the new west Suffolk markets development officer, covering the markets in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Newmarket, Mildenhall and Brandon.

Previously tourism officer with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Miss Fairweather will be putting her background in tourism to good use.

She said: “The market is a reason to come to town. A lot of people shop online now, but the market is an attraction.”

She said the new role was not all that different from what she had already been doing in Bury, mentioning Love Your Local Market day, Armed Forces Day and the town’s first street food festival last year. These events would continue, she said, and there are others in the pipeline.

Miss Fairweather, who will also focus on marketing, said her first aim was to try and attract new stallholders to the markets.

“We want to target the younger market, young entrepreneurs, working with the Prince’s Trust and the college,” she said.

She also said the community could have stalls on the markets, and floated the idea of a community day.

“There’s other things that can be done in a market place that isn’t just having a market stall - that’s what we are trying to get through to the public.”

Miss Fairweather, who will continue to organise the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, also wanted people to see that markets are not just for older shoppers.

She said she would continue to work with stallholders and the Ourburystedmunds group so their ideas are taken on board.

She said: “It’s about working with what we have got at the markets and trying to improve what we have got.”

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