A BELOVED Denbighshire landmark is beginning a new era.
Ruthin Artisan Markets CIC has taken on management of the town’s Grade 2-listed Market Hall.
And Operations Manager Bernadette O’Malley has already made her mark, organising a wide range of activities, and unveiling proposals for better access and toilet facilities on-site.
She is also working in partnership with businesses and organisations to improve services and ensure Ruthin does all it can to be even more inclusive and eco-friendly.
With more and more traders displaying their wares, and independent local producers supplying goods for the popular café, Bernadette is confident they are moving in the right direction.
The building had been redeveloped over recent years by DVSC (Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council), the charity that supports other third sector, community groups and social enterprises across the county, and she thanked them for their ongoing support.
“DVSC spotted the potential of this redundant building a few years ago, so we’ve worked together to create a vibrant place for people to make, sell, and show,” said Bernadette.
“None of the things we are proposing can happen without the buy-in and feedback of this community, and fortunately that has been the case.
“From the market perspective, we are working with the footfall we have and are seeing a rise in the number of people coming through the doors, not just to visit the stalls but for events as well.
“We’ve had live music, wedding fairs, dancing, pop-up restaurants, jazz and comedy nights, and there is a lot more in the pipeline, with the Market Hall at the centre of developments across the town.”
She added: “Importantly, in the coming months work will be taking place to improve the toilet facilities and access, to become more dementia and disability friendly and remove any barriers to visiting us.
“The community fridge is also here, and we hope more people will use it, not just due to the cost-of-living crisis but because a lot of the food and drink has been donated by local supermarkets that would have gone to waste.
“From sustainable projects to entertainment, the affordable artisan market and the many other things coming up, we are trying to generate interest among all ages and create a buzz that’s sustainable.
“We’ve had the backing of councillors and businesses but it’s not just us, it’s a partnership and we’ve had a lot of interest, there is an appetite for this.
“It’s all happening, it’s coming together, and I can’t thank the people of Ruthin enough for their support. We are moving forward and I’m excited to see what the future will bring.”
Tom Barham, Chief Officer at DVSC, said they were pleased to be able to “pass the torch” to Ruthin Artisan Markets CIC having revamped the structure by attracting investment from the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund via Denbighshire County Council, the UK Government Community Renewal Fund, Circular Economy Funding, and DVSC’s own funds.
“Bernadette’s vision for the Market Hall in our community is a breath of fresh air and we are happy to support her to manage this through her growing, new social enterprise,” he said.
“DVSC has worked hard over the past four years to bring the market from an empty, cold and redundant building to the brilliant facility we see today.
“It was always our plan to spin this out to a local social enterprise so we are thrilled it will be operating under the direct management of Ruthin Artisan Markets CIC and are sure both the site and the town itself will go from strength to strength.”
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