Row erupts as Buxton’s artisan market stalls

Buxton artisan market
Buxton artisan market

Buxton’s Artisan Market will not take place this weekend – and might not return again, its organisers have announced.

The Market Co, the firm which runs the market, posted a lengthy statement on their Facebook page yesterday to say the market would not be going ahead on Saturday, and predominantly blamed High Peak Borough Council for the cancellation.

Buxton artisan market

Buxton artisan market

The statement said: “Sadly the delivery of the event in Buxton has been beset with obstacles and hurdles from a variety of adversaries and various agendas over the last 12 months.

“Political issues and timings surrounding the ongoing procurement process for the traditional weekly market on the Market Place meant we were told by High Peak Borough Council that we should not apply, nor would it be granted if we did, for a license for this August event.”

The statement also criticised the “escalating costs imposed to fulfil the many caveats” of the street trading license issued by High Peak Borough Council.

But the council have said that The Market Co’s comments are “misleading”.

Councillor Tony Kemp, deputy leader of the council, with responsibility for tourism, regeneration and licensing, said today (Thurs): “The statement is misleading. A response from the council will be published by the end of today or tomorrow morning.”

Market organisers also blamed traders and Buxton Town Team for the cancellation.

The statement added: “Our reluctancy to apply for future licenses has been exacerbated and compounded by a number of factors not least the opposition from Buxton Town Team to the positioning of our event on Spring Gardens, versus their preferred location of the Market Place, the negativity and hostility from a small minority of Spring Gardens retailers.”

The town team said they did not agree with The Market Co’s criticism.

A spokesperson said the town team had been involved in supporting and promoting the market, and had run stalls at some of the events.

The spokesperson said: “The town team have always felt it is a strong part of our remit to strengthen the market place.

“We certainly don’t oppose the artisan market, or any location.”

They added: “I don’t think these comments are helpful, though, and the volunteers on the town team want to unite Buxton – not divide it.”

The Market Co statement concluded: “Until we know the outcome of the procurement process and the additional limitations this may impose upon our presence, the possibility of our return is at least uncertain and most probably unlikely in the current circumstances.

We would like to thank each and every visitor, the majority of fabulous local businesses and all our, very much appreciated, local supporters.

The public response has been very heartwarming we shall have to wait and see what happens in the future.