OAn initiative to boost the vitality of Wantage’s historic Wednesday and Saturday markets has seen a series of new traders take up a stall there. It’s part of a drive by Wantage Town Council to add to the strong core of regular traders at the markets, and attract in new and regular customers.

The Council is funding a three-month markets co-ordinator role to lead the initiative, with local specialist Jeanette Howse taking it on to work with Wantage’s existing town team.

New traders to test out the market with their business so far include This Little Piggy cheese & chutney, Nikki Mortimer and her Nix Bits jewellery & hand knitted garments, Gaia Products Greek Foods, and Ian Mead from Wantage hardware store, Reeds. A new regular series of hot food stalls on the markets has seen local businesses Wandering Kitchen, Pie in the Sky and Caribbean Roti Hut adding an extra dimension to the markets’ offer. You can also now get regular updates via Facebook at Wantage Markets.

Mayor of Wantage, Fiona Roper says: “This is another important initiative by the Town Council to promote the local economy by boosting the weekly markets. A vibrant market supports the town and business community as it brings in visitors from outlying villages and encourages local shopping.”

Jeanette Howse, who organises Didcot’s Sunday Market and Didcot Christmas Street Fair, says: “I live local to Wantage and think it’s a great market town. I look forward to the challenge of increasing the numbers of traders and customers.”

Vasiliki Ntavertzani from Gaia Products says: “As a new trader (since July this year) I keep looking for places and opportunities to sell my products. This Wednesday was the third time I traded at Wantage and there is such a great improvement already! Better stall layout, new stalls and more and more happy customers. I will definitely become a regular trader as it is one of my highlights of the week!”

Plans are now in hand for a Christmas Market for Wantage, which has been pencilled in for Saturday 13thDecember. Traders who’d like to join that should contact Jeanette via jeanette.howse@btinternet.com or call 0777 1967633.

Wantage town team is a partnership of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF), and town team co-ordinators Mim Norvell and Iain Nicholson.

Roti Hut