The future of Limavady Farmers Market looks uncertain after organisers announced “a postponement until further notice”.
Organisers described the news, revealed on their Facebook page, as “disheartening”.
“Unfortunately, future markets have been postponed until further notice,” they stated. “We have been in discussions with the Limavady Borough Council and Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre to negotiate alternative solutions for market traders on days when harsh weather conditions force the market to be cancelled. As yet, we have not found a reasonable solution. An option was presented of possibly using the Danny Boy Auditorium alongside the Drumceatt Square. However, the cost of hiring this means that it is not an option.
“Cancelling the markets is disheartening for everyone as there is a lot of effort required by everyone. We are a private entity and the market isn’t funded like similar surrounding markets by their local council. We are therefore not eligible for the same funding. This limits the amount we can offer to visitors, customers and traders, which has forced us to make this decision in the interim.
“We would like to that the opportunity to thank everyone who attended the markets over the last eighteen months.”
The news was met with disappointment from Mayor of Limavady, Sean McGlinchey.
“I think it’s a real shame and a pity this has happened because the Market was a boost for the town and brought people in and encouraged them to shop in the town. The Council and the Chamber of Commerce need to get behind bodies like the Farmers Market and encourage them in whatever way they can.”
One resident posted on Facebook: “What a wonderful thing the market is for Limavady. It brings a sense of community to the town and certainly drew us into town on Saturdays when we wouldn’t otherwise have come...Such a shame.”
Another said Limavady “could learn a lot” from Coleraine town centre events over the Christmas period and warned: “Doubtless lots of Limatonians will be shopping there.”
A “town centre trader” described the market as a “fantastic addition” to Limavady and claimed the market brought many people into the town on a Saturday.
“It’s a real shame, but hopefully it is something that will be rectified in the near future. Events like this are about generating a buzz in the town and making it a welcoming, attractive place for shoppers to visit,” said the trader.