Crowds flock to Kilwinning’s inaugural farmers’ market
The first farmers’ market at Kilwinning has been hailed a great success – and the event is to be held every three months next year as a result.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, who worked hard with Ayrshire Farmers’ Markets organiser Howard Wilkinson to bring the event to the newly regenerated Main Street at Kilwinning, are delighted at the outcome.
Large crowds turned out for the event at the weekend, and it has been praised by local councillors and townspeople, as well as by traders.
Patrick Wiggins, Chief Executive of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, said: “It was always the plan that the £2.75 million transformation of Main Street would help recreate a traditional town square which would provide a focal point for events.
“The team has worked hard with the farmers’ market to develop the programme after the idea was first mooted last year as part of our consultation on Kilwinning Town Regeneration Plan and I am delighted it has paid off so well.”
Despite unsettled weather a large number of visitors from the local community and beyond. The town was very busy – with reports that cash machines needed to be refilled – and saw brisk trade for both stall-holders and many local retailers who witnessed increased trade.
Howard Wilkinson, Market Organiser, said: "It was an excellent starter market. The community turned out to check out the farmers' market experience; we hoped they enjoyed it -- they seemed to based on their range of purchases and feedback from the producers.
"The market attracted many families thanks to the games and face painting activities .This extended the dwell time in the town centre thereby creating a greater community feel, and as we understand it, positive commercial opportunities for the permanent retailers."
Jim Watson, of the Community Council, said: “The turnout at the farmers’ market was very encouraging and is a great start for our ‘new look’ Main Street. Despite the damp weather there was a real sense of community and enthusiasm for the changes in the town centre. The Community Council carried out a short survey during the market and there was a very positive response to all the investment and hard work of the last year – people are delighted to see new shops opening in the town.”
And local councillor Margaret McDougall said: “Retailers said they had seen an increase in their sales as a result of the Farmers’ Market attracting so many people and this has lifted the whole town.
“What was great was that people took the time to look around all the shops in the town. So they now know what Kilwinning has to offer and I am sure they will come back again and again.”