Free stall at Alnwick market proves to be a success for local florist hit by Covid-19 outbreak
Traders are being offered a free pitch at Alnwick market thanks to Northumberland Estates.
The Duke of Northumberland’s development company is seeking to assist small and new business ventures in the Alnwick area and is taking a weekly stall at the Saturday market.
It is being offered free of charge to those wanting to showcase new products, trial new business ideas and for local charities to raise awareness and funds.
First to take advantage of the opportunity was Alnwick-based florist Sharon Wright who owns ‘Wild with Love’.
Sharon took over the business three years ago and has quickly become a popular and award-winning local florist, specialising in wedding flowers and working with numerous wedding venues in the North East.
However, when Covid 19 hit, business for Sharon dried up virtually overnight as wedding venues were forced to close.
“It was a real blow and heart-breaking for all the couples looking forward to their big day,” said Sharon. “I had always done other floral commissions and I enjoy a challenge, so I changed tack, making bouquets for presents, creating dried flower arrangements and producing other items that I could sell and deliver to fill the gap.”
She was so delighted with her market experience that she has taken a stall again this coming weekend.
“I was flat out all day, but it was a great way to introduce my business to new people and to try out new ideas without committing to a lot of expense,” she said.
"The other stallholders were very welcoming and lots of people said how nice it was to see flowers back in the market.”
Vanessa Proudlock, community and education officer at Northumberland Estates, said: “Many smaller local businesses and charities have been hit hard by lockdown, and this initiative seemed a good way to provide an opportunity for them to try and trade or raise awareness in a different way.
New market operators Gerauds have also welcomed the idea.
James Ormsby, who is running Alnwick Markets, said: “What a great initiative from Northumberland Estates to support the local economy get back on to its feet.”
Any local small business or charity interested in taking the stall should email [email protected].