Five years ago, the Chamber realised that Ferndown’s footfall was decreasing rapidly. There were no clothes shops or similar in the High Street, which lead to residents only using the service based shops when they needed to. As more units started to become vacant they were being replaced by charity shops or simply left empty.
Chamber secretary James Edgar says: “The Chamber realised that a weekly market might just start bringing people back to the town on a regular basis. Having researched the idea and contacting market organisations and experts the feedback was not positive. One said they didn’t want to take the risk with a new town and the other had a rule that they wouldn’t put on a market within 7 miles from Ringwood”.
However, with support from Ferndown Council, Paul Lewis from Southern Market Traders felt that a market on every Friday in Penny’s Walk would be successful.
James continued: “The Chamber were unable to ascertain who owned Penny’s Walk, many thought it was Tesco, but it transpired to be their landlords Royal Bank of Scotland. After being unable to get permission the Chamber team continued to peruse the idea and fortunately the site was purchased by Torbay Council who were fully supportive”.
At the beginning of June 2019 Southern Market Traders started their advertising campaign for the Friday Penny’s walk markets.
“The first Friday market was held in Penny’s Walk on the 28th June, it was deemed a complete success and was very well attended by stall holders and shoppers alike”. James added.
Along with the new weekly market, the Ferndown Chamber has had a refresh and rebrand. Now called the Ferndown Chamber for Business it relaunched with a new logo and website at www.fcfb.org.uk