Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce market aims to celebrate the best the town has to offer as it launches on Sunday

The market, which launches on May 9, hopes to champion local independent retailers

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 10:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:07 pm
A previous event (PIC: Cat Lane )

Bedford prides itself on being a town of markets - and this Sunday (May 9) will see the 2021 launch of its newest market, which aims to celebrate the best that Bedford has to offer.

Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce market has been founded by Talia Giles and Laura Homes to showcase the very best local talent and put Bedford back on the map after a year of lockdown.

Talia said: “We are lucky here in Bedford to have so many steadfast independent retailers that have been able to survive through thick and thin! It's amazing how many new businesses have also started up during lockdown too despite all the odds.

Talia Giles, Co-Manager of Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce market (PIC: Luma Content)

“There seems to be a really good buzz about the market so I'm hoping that we can encourage shoppers to start spending again in situ rather than online.

“As an artist myself, markets are a lifeline that I've sorely missed as it's a chance to spread the word and meet other like-minded businesses when you don't have a real life store for people to visit.”

She added: “We see our job role as supporters and promoters of small-scale businesses. For us, this market is a platform for positive change in the hearts and minds of local shoppers, to show them that the 'high street' is not just about big chains, but the growing number of local independents we have here in Bedfordshire.

“We hope that our market based right in the town centre will engage and remind people that shopping local is the key to keeping the high street alive.”

Laura Holmes, Co-Manager of Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce market

This weekend will also see the launch of the new local produce section, including food and drink that is handcrafted within 30 miles of Bedford - including cut flowers, artisanal bread, hand-reared meat, fish, cheese, cakes, beer, cider, gin, sauces, skincare and more.

And stall-holders also have access to a new online group that acts as a business support network.

Laura said: “Our branding has been given a face lift and we’re focusing on telling the story behind each small business, as well as our journey as organisers.

“It’s been touch and go with Covid restrictions but there’s now a huge buzz about our launch for 2021. Our aim is for us to become a destination market and pull in crowds from neighbouring counties.”

Special guests, Gabs, Matt, and Jamie of Foxy and Tim of Beer Fly

As the market grows, Talia and Laura hope to welcome guest producers as well as regular members of the Flea Family Community.

This May 9 market will see some very special guests: Foxy Wings X Beer Fly. A local lockdown success story, this market will be the first ever outing in public for the Foxy team and visitors will be able to try their wings with a ‘pay what you fancy’ scheme raising funds for their already hugely successful Crowdfunder.

The market runs on the second Sunday of the month, from May until October on St. Paul’s Square, Bedford, MK40 1SL. Opening hours are 10am to 3.30pm.

Stallholder applications are always open; to apply or find out more about our market and stallholders, visit the new website. You can also follow Bedford Flea on Instagram and Facebook.