Artisans market cancelled after row

Stamford High Street.
Stamford High Street.

The Artisans on Friday market has been cancelled after the artisans and Stamford Town Council could not come to an agreement over a charge.

The initiative started in 2008 to provide colour and vibrancy to Red Lion Square and has seen artisans regularly displaying and selling their work from the square during the summer.

But Stamford Town Council introduced a charge, which it said was in line with similar commercial initiatives, of £10 per stallholder every week that it runs. Previously the artisans had been paying a small administrative cost of £150 a year.

Allan Grey, chairman of Artisans on Friday, said he was disappointed that a solution had not been reached. The first market was due to have been held on May 5.

He said he had been having “positive discussions” with a town councillor who put forward a motion at the council’s last meeting to delay the introduction of the charge by a year to give the Artisans some time to “acclimatise”.

But an alternative motion to keep the proposed charge of £10 was agreed by a small majority.

Stamford Town Council’s clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said: “After a recent meeting with the Artisans on Friday at the Town Hall, they have regrettably decided to cease operations in Red Lion 
Square.

“Stamford Town Council is consequently seeking other avenues and opportunities to develop viable initiatives to add vitality and additional vibrancy to the heart of Stamford.”

l Stamford Town Council has recently completed a project to improve Red Lion Square with new street furniture. See next week’s Mercury for more details.