A new company will be taking over the award-winning Horsham Markets later this year.
Horsham District Council has said it has awarded the next contract to run the Carfax based market to Food Rocks.
Horsham Markets has been run by Aldred Associates for the past five years picking up numerous awards including best farmers market at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards in both 2014 and 2016.
PJ Aldred, director of Aldred Associates, said: “We have had an exciting and rewarding five years which has seen the Saturday Local Produce market grow four-fold and the introduction of the Thursday market to the Carfax focussing on street food.
“It has also been very challenging running the mixed market which has continued to decline as most other towns’ general markets have.
“Whilst it was a very difficult decision not to re-tender for the markets, we are looking forward to having more time for our Horsham shop and cafe.
“We are thrilled Food Rocks will be taking over the operation and we know they will be as committed to the markets and Horsham as we have always been.”
Food Rocks will be taking over on September 13 after the town’s Big Nibble Food Festival.
The Lewes based local produce markets and events company has previously run the council’s Little Nibble Children’s Food Festival, which has been a feature of the town’s Big Nibble event for the last two years.
Simon Teesdale, Director of Food Rocks said: “Food Rocks is very excited to be taking over the running of Horsham Markets and we would like to thank and congratulate Aldred Associates for handing over such a thriving, award-winning market.
“We hope to continue this success story and contribute to the development and vibrancy of Horsham. Running the market is a wonderful way to show our commitment to supporting the fantastic artisan traders in Horsham and the surrounding areas and an opportunity to set up some exciting local festivals and events.”
Cabinet member for the local economy, Gordon Lindsay, said: “I’d like to express our great appreciation to PJ and Marion and all of the Aldred Associates team and their traders. They have built up our Carfax Markets under the current contract to be multiple award winners and put our markets on the map as an important attraction for Horsham Town centre.
“I hope that the public and traders alike will continue to support Horsham Markets as we move forward and will welcome Food Rocks who we are looking to build on everything that has been achieved by Aldred Associates.”
The Horsham Markets contract covers the operation and marketing of the Carfax based markets on Thursdays and Saturdays plus specialist Sunday markets and market based events during the year.
The council said it would be supporting discussions between operators, landlords and traders about the future location of the general market in Piries Place, which moved form the Bishopric in 2014, which has struggled since the closure of the Waitrose store.
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