Charter Market to be boosted by events programme and other initiatives
An action-packed events programme is among a number of exciting initiatives to make St Albans Charter Market a greater attraction for the entire community.
Live music, theatrical performances, performing arts and a fashion show are among the free activities that will be held to boost visitor numbers and add to the vibrant atmosphere.
The number of traders working at the market has been rising steadily on Saturdays following efforts to improve its appeal.
Last month, the Saturday average was 77 traders compared to 68 in February 2022 – a 13% increase.
The rise comes after St Albans City and District Council, which runs the twice-weekly market, delivered a number of new initiatives.
These include efforts to attract new entrepreneurs and a loan offer to established traders of a new gazebo in St Albans colours of blue and yellow.
New traders include Matt Mager Beats & Beigels and zero waste grocer Sanjay, The Fruit and Veg Man, who turns all unsold food into relishes, sauces or compost.
Work on attracting other traders to broaden the market’s appeal continue while new Charter Market signage is to be strategically placed on stalls.
The new all-weather gazebos in uniform colours are already being distributed to traders with thirty expected to be in place by Easter.
These loans also support traders financially by saving them the significant cost of replacing their existing equipment.
Other initiatives include allocating more free space to local charities, community groups and non-profit organisations so they can promote their good causes.
A Valentine’s Market held on the run-up to February 14th received the highest trader numbers of the year so far, beaten recently only be the fortnight leading up to Christmas.
Supported by St Albans BID, it featured the Jupiter Singers, buskers singing love songs and seasonally-themed products and gift ideas from traders, all promoted on the market’s social media channels.
Further themed days are planned throughout the year.
Councillor Danny Clare, Lead Councillor for Markets, said:
The markets and events team, with the support of St Albans BID and market traders are delivering a plan to enhance the Charter Market offering and experience, and ensure there’s something to see and do on every visit.
The market is already a major attraction and we want to ensure that is the case for each and every visit, both for residents and visitors. We are working with traders to provide products that are front of mind, whether that be the meal that was made on MasterChef this week, must-have fashion items, the new must-have health supplement, it will be there, and you’ll know about it up front.
We are looking to make the market a focal point not just for shopping but also for cultural activity, empowering local performers with a unique opportunity to reach new audiences and publicise their shows.
The events programme includes a roving dinosaur puppet on Saturday 25 March to publicise Dinosaur World Live at the Alban Arena.
There will be a performance of School of Rock by St Albans Musical Theatre Company on Saturday 8 April and some live theatre from Ovo Theatre on Saturday 6 May.
A fashion show, featuring pre-loved clothes and accessories, will take place on Saturday 13 May, organised by Hope House and St Albans Action for Homeless.
Councillor Clare added:
We have already had a terrific response from community groups to our plans to involve them in the market with live music, theatre and a fashion show lined up. We provide the platform, our partner will provide the entertainment, and at the same time, have the opportunity to spread awareness of their work and offer visitors the opportunity to contribute and get involved. A full calendar of market events will be available on our social media channels, Council website and Enjoy St Albans.
We are delighted with the level of engagement and the plans in place to deliver growth on every aspect of the Charter Market – traders, new products, entertainment and experience. We are giving traders at the food court an additional pitch, free of charge, for seating and have chairs that we can loan out to them when the weather improves.
Alongside all of the wonderful products, including food and drink, there will be something to see, listen to, learn or engage with in the City Centre on market day whether its live music or a short theatrical performance. We can celebrate what’s important to us in the place we love the most. This is all about empowerment, and as a resident myself, I can’t wait.
The market is steadily growing, particularly on Saturdays, and these initiatives are designed to make it an even greater attraction to the benefit of traders, residents and visitors. We continue to recruit new traders, and round out the offering, and are even working with local retailers to fill gaps such as a butcher.
Community groups, charities or community-orientated businesses interested in providing entertainment or promoting a good cause at the market will find more information here: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/st-albans-market-activities-and-events.
You can stay connected with the Charter Market on Facebook, www.facebook.com/stalbansmarket,
Media Contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533, firstname.lastname@example.org