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Market trader’s anger over slot at festive event
A REGULAR stall holder at the monthly artisan market in Knutsford has hit out after being told he had missed out on a slot for the annual Christmas event.
Stalybridge-based Peter Aitchison has been an ever-present at the town’s popular Sunday artisan market since it began earlier this year.
As part of the deal to continue the market into 2014 it was decided for December that the market be ‘replaced’ with a similar market organised by Knutsford Town Council.
The past two years has seen a market held on the same weekend as the annual Christmas lights switch-on.
However, Peter has been told he has been unsuccessful in getting a stall for the Knutsford Christmas market – being held on November 30 and December 1 – and has admitted it is a ‘huge’ financial blow to his business.
Adam Keppel-Garner, town centre manager, told the Guardian every stall application was judged on its own merit.
Peter said: “It’s completely out of order. They did say at one point we could have a small stall for one day but that is useless for us because we have a big gazebo and one small table won’t be suitable for us.
“Word came around the market on Sunday that the clerk was there and I went up and introduced myself and we had a chat.
“We have done that market every time since day one and we’re a big part of the Artisan Market set-up.
“It’s a huge financial blow to us.”
Mr Keppel-Garner said 140 traders would be in town over the two days and he was aiming to make the Christmas market ‘different’ to the regular artisan event.
“The main selection criteria was the quality of the application form, the layout of the stall, the location of the stallholder, and I wanted as much variety as possible,” he said.
“There are two other photography businesses that will be there, one from Mobberley and the other one was a toss-up between Peter, but he said he needed a double stall but I felt I could get more variety in the market if I went with the one I did.”
Peter said it had caused him to think about coming back to Knutsford when the Artisan Market returns in February 2014 after the November event.
He said: “We’re thinking about what to do because we’ve put all this effort into this town and the market. ”
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