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Thurso set for further town markets after 'fantastic' first event

By Alan Hendry

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Stalls on the first Saturday of the market in Thurso's Olrig Street gardens.
Stalls on the first Saturday of the market in Thurso's Olrig Street gardens.

Organisers of Thurso's first town market say it was "fantastic" to see the positive effect it had as plans are made for further events this Saturday and over the coming weeks.

The inaugural market day on July 10 was a great success, according to Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT), with a noticeable increase in footfall around the High Street and town centre.

At the heart of the market was a concerted push to support local businesses through a prize draw under the Love Local, Love Thurso project and by encouraging market-goers to shop locally.

While the attendance at the event in Olrig Street gardens was described as "impressive", it stayed safely within recommended Covid-19 parameters from the Scottish Government.

One of the stallholders said: “I loved the town market. It was great connecting with people and getting the community together again. So many people were happy coming out and meeting new sellers, discovering new creative ideas.”

Another said: “We had an amazing day in terms of sales – and the sheer delight at being able to interact, laugh and share a joke with folk was a true tonic.”

Further market dates include July 24, August 7 and August 21. The success of the debut market has prompted TCDT to order an additional four market stands, which is hoped will arrive before the first of the August events.

TCDT has partnered with the Protect North Highlands service to expand upon the safety measures taken by the market to reduce risks linked to Covid-19. This will include a comprehensive track and trace system using Protect North Highlands’ QR codes along with taking down names of those who have attended the market but do not have access to the QR code app.

These additions to safety measures will be put into effect during the market day this Saturday and will continue for as long as necessary.

Chairperson Helen Allan said: “After such a long period where we have not been able to interact with the community in person, the market held earlier this month was a fantastic opportunity to see people.

"We are really looking forward to this Saturday’s market with a range of new stallholders and our own Thurso Community Development Trust stand where people can buy vegetables from our Thurso Grows community garden along with chutneys and jams.”

Development officer Lindsay Morrison said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive effect the market had on the town and we’re looking forward to the rest of our market days.”

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