New market to set out its stall

Vicky Macdonald
Vicky Macdonald
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A PROJECT aimed at restoring some traditional trading values to the city centre is set to get under way following a successful trial.

Edinburgh Markets, a social enterprise aiming to buck the trend of high-street chains dominating the Capital’s centre, will set up a permanent home at Leith Street later this month.

Stalls will offer hot and cold food, crafts and a range of household goods in what will be a throwback to trading in past decades. The base, by the John Lewis store – which will be held once a week – will also offer display space to local artists and hand local traders a chance to showcase their work.

Organisers said it was a worthwhile addition to the heart of commercial Edinburgh, while local residents welcomed the move, pointing out it would offer variation to the area.

It should also offer a chance to former shop owners forced out of their businesses because of the recession to start afresh.

The creation of the market – which it is hoped will draw in tourists as well as local shoppers – is a result of a pilot scheme which took place by the Paolozzi foot statue at Greenside.

Market operator Vicky MacDonald said: “Traders, the public and local businesses nearby all wanted to see the market come back. It helps improve an otherwise disused area of the city, turning it into a pleasant place to enjoy lunch and take notice of the Paolozzi statues.

“Markets help incubate new business ideas, offering an affordable and accessible way for business to test out new products, connect with their customer base and be part of a local community that supports each other.

“We’re seeing a lot more traders now who are starting out because they were made redundant.”

Organisers are offering traders the chance to hire a stall from £25 a week, as long as they stay for a four-week period.

They added that they hoped the market would add to the atmosphere of a neighbourhood that has suffered from a drop in footfall.

It is expected up to 10,000 people every day would pass either through or past the stall.

The market will run every Saturday from March 24 from 9am to 2pm.