'Surprise' market sees packed prom over weekend in Morecambe
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The three-day market, selling food and other goods from around the world, began setting up on the seafront on Thursday.
The market was selling world street food, clothes, gifts, accessories, jewellery and much more, from all over the world.
Kay Bentley said on a Facebook post: “Met loads of locals who hadn't heard of this event. Very well organised, litter pickers out patrolling, happy crowds, families weaving along both sides of the beautiful prom. Fabulous freshly cooked food and great, interesting stalls. Don't forget to advertise!”
Organisers of the international market Market Place Europe advertised they were coming to Morecambe on Facebook on Friday.
Morecambe Town Council posted on their Facebook page that ‘they hope the market will be a great success for Morecambe and will explore how we can liaise more closely with local stakeholders to make sure we are all aware of similar events in the future.”
Ruth Wilkinson, chair of Morecambe BID (Business Improvement District), a local body representing Morecambe town centre businesses, said: “Morecambe BID were surprised to see this evening a European Market being set up in the central promenade, which is with us this weekend.
“It would seem this arrangement has been made without any consultation of Morecambe BID. When Morecambe BID was approached in March of this year we expressed concern that the suggested site of the European Market may not help in supporting our local businesses.
“As much as we welcome new and exciting opportunities for our residents of Morecambe and visitors, and hope anyone visiting the market has a lovely time, we would ask our residents and visitors to remember the doors of our independent and local businesses are open for you to visit, our local independent business owners are here for you all year round and rely upon your trade and custom.
“We hope that our visitors and residents will continue to visit our local independent businesses over the coming weekend.”
The market was given permission to trade on the Promenade by Lancaster City Council, who own the land.
A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “Morecambe International Market is a private booking made by Market Place Europe Limited.
“As with all other privately run public events booked to take place on council land, it is the sole responsibility of the organiser to deliver its own promotional campaign, with support from the council via its own channels (if requested).
“In terms of its location, we have been advised that Market Place did undertake some consultation when developing their plans and considered other locations, but unfortunately the town centre was not possible due to the size of the event.
“Morecambe has not held a continental market for many years and we hope it will provide an opportunity for local people to enjoy while bringing in extra footfall that will benefit local businesses and the event.”
Meanwhile organisers of the weekly Morecambe Promenade Parkrun announced on Facebook that Saturday's fun run on the seafront had to be cancelled as the market occupied part of the course.