|Marketing & Events|
Markets - Farmers' Market & Traditional Market
Farmers' Markets were launched in April 2003 as a joint, pilot project between the Partnership and Huntingdonshire District Council. These markets have proved a success with brisk trading across the whole town on these days. The market is held fortnightly on Fridays and on Saturdays where there are five weeks in the month. It is a certified Farmers' Market as all items are locally produced and sold by the people who produce them. Traditional Markets take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Established through Royal charter in 1205 the market is organised by Huntingdonshire District Council. The Partnership supports the ongoing marketing and promotion of both Traditional and the Farmers' Markets.
This project was started in 2006 and is now fully operational in three areas - St Germain Walk, St Benedict's Court/High Street and the Market Square. Bookings are made by companies and organisations wishing to promote their goods and services. Fees paid for the promotional space are reinvested in the work of the Partnership for the benefit of the town.
Huntingdon has benefited from ten successful Continental Markets through increased footfall and increased retail spending. Held in October each year, the market, with more than 20 stalls from all over Europe, attracts thousands of visitors from across the region and has raised the profile of Huntingdon both regionally and nationally. In May 2011 the second Italian Market was equally successful.
Tourist information & Promotion of Huntingdon
The Partnership is a stakeholder in the advertising and promotion of Huntingdon. Local residents and tourists visit for a variety of reasons, for example the history of Oliver Cromwell and The Cromwell Museum, short weekend breaks or visiting family and friends. The provision of tourist information literature is vital for all our visitors. Working with Huntingdon Town Council, a variety of publications have been produced recently including the Huntingdon Town Trail and the Town Council Official Guide. Accomodation information is available using the following leaflet "Quality Assured Accommodation in Huntingdonshire.
The following websites are also useful
The Partnership has a track record of organising FREE training for local businesses. "Ambassador" training took place in 2005 and focused on providing a warm welcome to visitors, sharing knowledge of the town to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more. This was followed by two initiatives in Partnership with Huntingdonshire District Council. In 2006 the "Pride" Retail programme covered a variety of specialist retail workshops and in 2007 the Enterprise Project focused on training for small and medium sized businesses and included topics such as web design, visual merchandising and a historical tour of Huntingdon. Retail training, in the lead up to Christmas, created more opportunities and an NVQ Level 2 qualification in 2008.
The number of businesses open on a Sunday has been gradually increasing each year. In the first half of 2007 major construction in Huntingdon led the Partnership to promote and actively advertise Sunday opening when there is also free car parking. The message was Shop Local, Shop Sunday in Huntingdon. In 2011 there are 90 businesses and destinations open on Sunday with core opening hours 10am to 4pm. See "Whats On, Sunday opening times" on this website.
The Partnership has been involved in the Christmas Lights and the "Big Switch On" event for a number of years now in partnership with Huntingdon Town Council.
These events are funded by sponsorship, fundraising initiatives, grants and contributions from town businesses.
Christmas Late Night Shopping
Although there is no designated late night shopping throughout the year, there is a need for promotion of late night shopping at Christmas. In the past, various approaches have been tried to increase footfall at the busiest time of year and this work will continue.
The future for Huntingdon retail is bright. The total retail space is set to increase significantly in the next five years and the challenge will be to create a balanced mix of retail and services. This project is being led by Huntingdonshire District Council Economic Development and is supported by the Partnership.
Night Time Economy
The Partnership will liaise with local authorities to support, develop and promote the night time economy including arts and drama groups.