Town’s BIG market award recognises volunteers’ work

Another award for Market Rasen's BIG market - thanks to the hard work of volunteers
Another award for Market Rasen's BIG market - thanks to the hard work of volunteers

Market Rasen has scooped another top national award - this time for having Britain’s ‘best social enterprise market of the year’.

The town’s monthly market, run by Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG), has been recognised at the annual National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) annual 

The award is the second in as many years, having been named Britain’s best small speciality market at last year’s competition.

MR BIG markets director Jackie Smith - who has organised the events since the first pop-up market in May 2012 - was thrilled to pick up the latest award.

She said: “Market Rasen has a 700-year history as a market town and the business improvement group has worked very hard over the past three years to put the market back into Market Rasen.

“This NABMA award is a wonderful recognition for a lot of hard work by volunteers who care passionately about the future of our market and our town.”

The BIG market, held on the first Saturday of every month, has up to 45 stalls.

And it attracts a wide range of local specialist food producers, artists and artisans.

It is a collaboration between MR BIG, Market Rasen Town Council and West Lindsey District Council, which provides staff for setting up stalls.

And MR BIG directors are ‘proud’ of this latest award.

Director Sara Scott said: “This makes us particularly proud as it recognises that the market is organised by committed volunteers.

“We’re one of just nine markets winning national awards - so really this confirms our place as an innovator and leader in markets provision.

“Our hope is to improve Market Rasen for everyone in the community - stall holders, customers, residents and visitors, and to make the BIG markets even bigger and better for 2014.

“Another national award sends out a clear and motivating message to our tireless volunteers, that we are taking a lead in finding innovative ways to help a market town survive and thrive in the modern commercial environment.”

MR BIG director Sarah Lamballe said the market had a “great” bunch of traders - and she thanked them for turning out in all kinds of weather.

She said: “The market gives people their first step into business - at an affordable price.

“We will continue to go down the artisan route, while also offering everyday needs.”