The season will end for the City Farmers Markets in Gladstone’s CBD with the event to be discontinued late this month.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said after attempts to re-launch and revitalise the markets during 2016-17 and a recent review of its operations, Gladstone Regional Council had resolved to farewell the City Farmers Markets.
“Council trialled the markets in a bid to attract more people into our CBD while providing a place for residents to regularly socialise and purchase fresh produce and local goods,” Councillor Burnett said.
“While public interest in the City Farmers Markets was initially strong, a decline in attendance and numerous additional issues have impacted on the event.”
Cr Burnett said careful consideration was given to stallholder feedback and to challenges highlighted by the City Farmers Market event coordinator.
“There have been greater challenges than expected for both stallholders and the market coordinator, which currently, do not make the City Farmers Markets commercially viable enough to continue.”
Cr Burnett said time and effort associated with stall set up, pack up and road closures in conjunction with the challenge of weather and sloping sites for stallholders had been detrimental. He said stallholder numbers had also declined with inconsistent market patronage contributing to reduced profitability for stallholders.
Cr Burnett said a further two markets would be held in 2018 on March 10 and March 24. The Queen’s Baton Relay Gladstone event will be coordinated in conjunction with the final City Farmers Market. “Council appreciates the support of CBD residents and business owners throughout the markets’ duration and thanks the community for their patronage,” Cr Burnett said. “Council will relinquish its event management agreement but thanks the City Farmer’s Markets’ event coordinator for her time and efforts in attempting to regenerate the markets.”