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My partner and I have lived in the area for around 18 months and love it here, although I have been saddened by the increasing number of empty shops in Hampton Hill and Hampton village itself.
I would like to explore starting a farmer's market in the village if possible (although I know there are a number of regulatory hoops to jump through), and I wondered if there had ever been one here in the past?
Any advice/insight you have would be greatly appreciated.
I think we only have one vacant shop in Hampton, the old Cheese and Wine shop, and a Farmers market would only ensure more empty shops. As a member of Hampton Village Traders I would be fiercely opposed to a farmers market being held in Hampton. As traders we are here all week for our customers, we pay business rates, pay for licenses to have our rubbish and recycling taken away, which we also pay for the privilege of. We try and promote the Village, put on the Classics on the Green, Screen on the Green, Christmas comes to Hampton events and have recently brought three defibrillators that are now up and running in threee locations around the village, all from donations by local traders, none from national companies. We are run on a voluntary basis, and as busy people with our own businesses devote a lot of unpaid time in to keeping the Village alive
A farmers market would bring in traders from way out of the area as we do not have local farms, who would pay none of the above or contribute to none of the above and would come and take revenue from the people who do, and leave with no further thought for our village than the money in their pockets.
There was a farmers market in Hampton Hill just past the Theatre it wasn’t successful and closed along time ago. I agree the closed shops in Hampton Hill and the fact the double unit in Station Road Hampton has not been let is not good but it is a sign of the times. Hampton Hill now has, Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, 2 costa coffee shops, a Kentucky Fried Chicken and talk of a Marks and Spencer’s arriving. Shoppers choose to use these locations rather than the local independent shops, cafes, restaurants and business, none of us can compete with dine in for two meal for £10.00 including wine, or free tea and coffee just for walking through the door, then we are going to lose the unique businesses that make up our high streets and Villages. Incidentally only one of the large chain, national businesses in Hampton will put up a promotional poster for our local events.
Shopping on line also removes the need to go physically shopping in local high streets so you don’t see what else is on offer in other local businesses.
We are the orchestrators of the downfall of small businesses and the Village life that we all crave, love to boast about, but like to use only when it suits us, and then moan when something is closed down due to lack of use.
We are very lucky in Hampton to have a diverse range of shops, businesses and services that care about the environment and I would want this to continue long into the future.
Thanks so much for your reply and your thoughts - I have really enjoyed the Classics on the Green, Screen on the Green events, etc and think the success of them really highlight what a great community this is.
I had in mind a monthly farmer's market that would bring new people into the area who would also spend money at our local independent shops and pubs, rather than take existing revenue away. Rubbish and recycling, etc would of course have to be included in the running of the event, and I was hoping some of the local traders may be interested in taking on a stall (at a reduced rate) if it goes ahead.
I absolutely appreciate times are really hard for high streets right now, especially with the revaluation of business rates, the popularity of online shopping, and the dominance of the chains that you mentioned. But I think increasingly, people are looking for experiential shopping that they can't get online, and recognising the benefit of that personal service and insight that only smaller retailers can provide.
As I mentioned, this is very much just an idea at the moment, and any proposal would absolutely be put to the Hampton Village Traders before it went ahead. I would want this to be in partnership with, and with the support of, the local independents. That may be unlikely but if you don't try, you don't know!
Thank you too for the insight about the Hampton Hill farmer's market - I will investigate that further.
There have been a few, to be honest, with various levels of success.
First off there was the ‘Farmers City Market’ in Hampton Hill which was eye wateringly priced and went belly up owing quite a few of the suppliers money. The good thing which came from it was Robsons on Hampton Hill High Street got enough of a following from being there that they were able to make the move across the road. The market was popular whether it would be now post economic crash and the joy of the devalued currency) is another matter.
Then we turn to the market in Hampton Square. It was well run by Sarah Burley but struggled to get off the ground. It was a monthly market so you either had to make a note in your diary or just happen to be in the right place at the right time. It failed, ultimately.
Then the remnants moved to Linden Hall which tried really hard to set something going in the garden at the front of the hall but again it just didn’t fly. There’s talk of starting again, I understand, but its such a lot of work it needs somebody with loads of time to spare.
The problem you have with a monthly market is that idea of ‘Ah! It’s market month today.’ Weekly is easy. You know that every saturday you can trundle down to your local market and buy what you want to buy (often paying through the nose, I might add). You don’t need to look in your diary, you know its Saturday so it will be there. That’s why Twickenham is successful - there’s no thought needed, no planning needed. Also what Twickenham has going for it is the parking - in two ways. 1) The parking is available for those people who want to drive to the market and 2) Those people who are just looking to park may think ‘Ooooh. I need some apples’ and pick some up. Creating Increased demand for parking in Hampton may not be universally popular
And of course if such a weekly endeavour was to open up in Hampton or Hampton Hill it would have a knock on effect with our small retailers. It wouldn’t boost trade to them as people will be coming in to buy from the market.
Very interesting thanks Gareth!
I hate to say it but we seem to be losing shops without a Farmers Market.
Taste Cafe, The Post Office, Peco's and Alderson's......