Make it your market project success
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Huntingdingshire revitalises town centres initiativeHuntingdonshire District Council and Business Link joined forces two years ago to launch a new initiative "Make it Your Market" to help new businesses start-ups in the town centre markets of Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey.  Already the scheme has helped 15 people open their own market stalls and one of these has been so successful that they are looking to move on to a retail outlet. 

The scheme launched two years ago and is designed to encourage entrepreneurship in the area and to revitalise the town centres. New business owners are given bespoke advice, training and workshops from a Business Link advisor with subsidised pitches and loans to help them get started.  The first five workshops were based on Business Link’s successful ‘Start Your Own Business’ workshop, supplemented with market-specific information such as visual merchandising. Market managers and stall holders attended the sessions to give their insights and experiences to workshop delegates.

The council obtained funding of £12,000 for the project from Improvement East which is used to purchase the market stalls. The initiative also won an Action for Market Towns Award 2011 for the Best Programme in the Business and Economy category for the Eastern Region and is a finalist for the Best Programme in the Eastern Region.