Rebranding helps to revive Kettering market

Kettering's market has seen stall numbers rise in the past few months
Kettering's market has seen stall numbers rise in the past few months

A market has quadrupled in size after stallholders were offered discount fees and free parking.

Kettering’s Wednesday flea market has increased from four stalls to 22 after Kettering Council, which took it over last September, cut fees from £13 to £10 for two weeks and offered free parking.

Kettering Council economic development officer Collette Lilley said: “We are really pleased.

“We can see it has more potential going forward.”

Ms Lilley said the council could justify subsidising rates – something previous operator Hughmark Continental Ltd was unable to do – because it boosted footfall, attracted shops and helped people start businesses.

Tresham College students also rebranded the market.

The town’s normal Friday and Saturday market has also increased from about 10 stalls to between 20 and 25 after Kettering Council reduced fees for sellers who bring their own stalls from £33 to £20 last November.

Flea market fees have gone back to £13 but the council is still offering parking coupons.

Craig Styles, of clothing brand Amp Stuff, said: “On the first Wendesday, it was really busy. I took about £200, which I was delighted with. The council offered us lower rates to have a stall here and I think that I’ll be pitching up at the Saturday market.”

Councillor Terry Freer, portfolio holder for town centre regeneration at Kettering Council, said: “In the last two weeks, its been flea market we’ve had in the town for years.”