THE Mayor of Wokingham Town will officially open a new indoor market on Saturday.
Cllr Peter Lucey has been invited to formally cut the ribbon at the market, which aims to give local small businesses, craftspeople and charities a low-cost retail space.
The market will run on a three-month trial basis at the former Peacock's shop, in Denmark Street, Wokingham.
It was the idea of Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson, a member of Wokingham Town Council and local organisation More Arts. There has been keen interest from businesses, and stalls expected on Saturday include photography, jewellery, Italian food, cake, cheese, handbags, ladies' fashion, carpets, a travel agent's and natural beauty products.
Gardening services business Gardeneer plans to have a stall on Fridays, when head gardener Mark Vaughan will offer free expert advice.
Tony Hewetson, owner of the company, which is based at Ashridge Manor Garden Centre in Forest Road, Wokingham, said: "Mark used to advise at the Chelsea Flower Show and what we are hoping to do is offer a service of plant identification and dealing with pests and diseases, and also any advice on dealing with plants." He said the company is excited about the opportunities presented by the market, and added: "It's a great idea. We hope it's going to help us spread the word about our expertise.
"Also, it's good for the town. It's a great boost to the shopping offering." More Arts is renting the premises and there are plans to extend the scheme if it proves successful. It will be open from 9am-4pm Tuesdays-Saturdays,. On Wednesdays there will be a lower stallholder fee to encourage charities and people with car boot sale type goods to take a spot.
There are 21 pitches and the cost of taking one is �20 a day on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On Wednesdays, it will be �5.
To find out more about hiring a stall, call Rob Vincent at the town council on 0118 974 0881 or 07847 602186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Download an application form at www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk