A Fylde back street could be transformed into a ‘mini market’ based on London’s trendy Brick Lane in a bid to boost trade and attract more visitors.
A provisional plan to introduce a Sunday vintage market into Back St Annes Road West – immediately behind the main shopping area of The Square – has been greeted as ‘a great idea’ by a leading St Annes Chamber of Trade official and the two women behind the aim are now looking to generate funds for an inaugural staging in April.
There is so much potential and we really feel it would help boost visitor numbers
Melanie Jackson and Jayne Callaghan, co-proprietors of The Attik in Orchard Road, are eager to build on what they feel is a big appetite for browsing and buying vintage items in Fylde – and feel such an event held on a regular basis could act as a key magnet for visitors.
The pair, who have seen a surge in numbers to their shop since moving last year from St Andrew’s Road South, are looking to site stalls in Back St Annes Road West –between Orchard Road and Park Road – and feel it would also help continue the revitalisation of that part of town, which already features an art trail, but is still largely ignored by tourists.
“There is so much potential and we really feel it would help boost visitor numbers,” said Melanie.
“These are exciting times in St Annes with so many events taking place through the year and we feel this would add to the appeal.
“The shop is going well and we have had a lot of feedback from people, many of whom travel in specially to find vintage items and would be keep to support such a market.
“The availability of such items in various shops is a big draw for St Annes and holding a market, possibly monthly or quarterly. would be case of building on the town’s strengths.
“We think it could be a ‘mini Brick Lane’.
“It would also add to the appeal of Back St Annes Road West, which already has some art on the walls and we are keen to see more.
“We will need some funding for closing the road and other essential matters but we are hoping a first market will illustrate the potential and we can build from there.”
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “I think it’s a great idea and I hope it comes off.
“There are already some great antiques and collectors’ businesses in that area and a market there could act as a real catalyst for the that part of town to really flourish.
“A lot of visitors head for The Square and don’t even realise what there is a block behind - but such an event would raise awareness and hopefully keep them coming back.
“We already have the art trail there and there is so much potential for that part of town grow in status and become a key part of attracting extra visitors to town.
“It is the kind of idea which has worked with The Lanes in Brighton - people love wandering down such roads and browsing.”
St Annes and Fylde generally has seen a surge in visitor numbers in recent years with the introduction of events such as the annual Kite Festival on the beach, Arts and Music Festivals in St Annes and Lytham and the ever-growing Lytham Festival.
St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham also host popular monthly farmers’ markets., while a Victoria Christmas Festival intended for the streets of the town but hit by bad weather was introduced last year.
Brick Lane Market is a large market in London’s East End, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
It features street stalls selling everything from vintage and handmade clothing, accessories, jewellery, music, arts and crafts along with street food.