Opinion: Isn't it now time to leave the Artisan Market alone


This is a member post by Khumi Burton who is a Wilmslow resident and organiser of the annual Bank Holiday Street Party on Grove Street.

This debate has been dominating for nearly one year ... the organisers Denise Valente and Vicky Jackson (non retailers) made sure when the concept was put forward that all agencies were involved in consultations. They did endless surveys and reports etc so that everyone would come on board and support.

Since then, the thriving market, held on the third Saturday of the month, has been receiving negative headlines from quarters, unnecessarily, causing a lot of pain and extra hard work to Denise and Vicky and everyone else who wants the market to do well, so that we have footfall into Wilmslow in every way.

I am a resident who has lived in Wilmslow for the past 35 years. I have no business interest but I am someone who cares for the progress of Wilmslow, as I want to be proud to live in Wilmslow which I hope one day will be a thriving town again. I have seen Wilmslow at its best. People used to come into Wilmslow to shop in Finnigans, Samuel Cooper, Emma Somerset, French Dressing, Pam Accessories etc or window shop on a Sunday.

I have also seen numerous bodies formed over the years, who try to make Wilmslow work but the present Wilmslow Business Group (WBG) is working harder because of the economic climate to help make Wilmslow a destination for the future and even for the North West.

The three critics, who were quite vocal at the first meeting of the WBG in January, know and heard the presentation that evening, which showed that, apart from the Artisan Market, there are lots of other plans afoot to put Wilmslow on the map. These plans are all in conjunction with Cheshire East Council, Wilmslow Town Council, businesses, those who have visions and working for the good/progress of Wilmslow as a town, to be proud of.

At the end of the day, it might not be immediate, but when all these things fall into place they will be financially beneficial for the retailers. Companies will want to flock in as it will be the 'in' place to have an office as we have good rail, road and air links.

As you know almost every town is fighting for survival in the country and I fear that just for a few critics, this might be put aside and we become a ghost town!

What I can't understand is .. why look at things negatively and short term solutions only, why not look at things long term and for everyone's benefit as retailers.

Retailers on their parts should engage themselves with the communities they have come to make money from and do more in their own premises. They must not expect things to happen without any input.

As we all know, unless you give, there is nothing to take!

I do sincerely hope that .. whatever one does to create footfall in Wilmslow, will be warmly supported and put an end to all these irritating incidents which crop up every now and then.

I am sure, there are a lot of residents and some retailers, like me who are fed up of reading the negative side of things all the time in the papers or wilmslow.co.uk. Don't let us be the laughing stock of other towns!

Friday I attended a Cheshire Regiment 1st Mercian do in Stockport, in the course of the evening someone came up to me and said how marvellous the Artisan Market was but they couldn't understand the newspaper article! I asked them where they lived and she said Marple. Bad news travel fast, however unjustified!

This is a member post by Khumi Burton.

Wilmslow Artisan Market


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Richard Holman
Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 4:51 pm
I agree wholeheartedly with Khumi. Instead of whingeing (very loudly) the businesses should be thinking how to harness the footfall. They will not benefit if the market, facing continuing hostility, votes with its feet and moves elsewhere. It is Wilmslow as a whole which will suffer.
Anna Meadmore
Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 10:21 pm
The Artisan Market is the best thing that has happened to Wilmslow in a long while, and it has taken full advantage of the pedestrianisation of Grove Street. Regarding the perceived adverse effect to some of the businessess, you might be interested in the following: after some time spent at the market in November, we went into the cafe in the Arcade for a warming drink. As no-one seemed to notice we were there, we went to the counter to ask that, if we sat upstairs, was it waitress service, or should we order first. The reply was a bored "whatever....". If we hadn't been so cold, we would have left. At least at the market there is enthusiastic service, and the whole entrepreneurial and community spirit that it engenders is so encouraging.. Denise and Vicky should not be disheartened, but rather George Osborne should convey to David Cameron and Mary Portas that some people really do have the vision and energy to get a good initiatrive off the ground. Good markets flourish all over the world, and this one should continue.
Sally Hoare
Wednesday 29th February 2012 at 11:34 am
I have lived in Wilmslow for over 20 years and feel the Artisan Market is the best thing I have seen happen here. Surely the shopkeepers and businesses should be grateful to have all these potential customers so close by and use their ingenuity to get them through their doors. The Chapel Lane shops may find their customers diverted but some have taken stalls to advertise their wares and hopefully gain future trade. Please use your imagination and make the most of these potential customers.
Bill Beton
Sunday 4th March 2012 at 8:18 am
I wholeheartedly agree too. Thanks for posting Khumi. Why is it that when something is successful we get a minority of whingers? Note that I say MINORITY. I am sure the vast majority of Wilmslow residents think the market has been fantastic for Wilmslow.
Maureen Carey
Sunday 20th May 2012 at 7:55 am
I would suggest that those who complain about the Artisan Market's impact on their business should be taking a serious look at their company's finances. The Market operates once a month, that equates to 12 days - if that timeframe is having an adverse effect, their business must be on pretty shaky ground. On the other hand, perhaps they are simply selfish and resent the Artisan Market's success. Well done to all those involved.