'Mini-festival feel' set to be showcased in East Suffolk towns

New Market in Beccles.

The Beccles 'Wild About Art' market next month will be located mainly within the New Market area of town. - Credit: Danielle Booden

An inaugural market with a 'mini-festival feel' is set to take centre stage in Beccles next month as part of a celebratory event.

It comes as two festival-style markets will take place in the coming weeks as part of First Light Market Place project.

Spring markets will be held in Beccles on Saturday, March 5 between 10am and 2pm and at Leiston on Saturday, March 26, also between 10am and 2pm.

These markets will follow the successful Christmas market held in Saxmundham at the beginning of December.

It forms part of the Market Place project run by the First Light Festival Community Interest Company (CIC) who are working with market towns across East Suffolk on the initiative that is funded through the ERDF Welcome Back Fund and supported by East Suffolk Council.

The Beccles 'Wild About Art' market next month will be a family-orientated, celebratory event based around art in all its forms.

A spokesman for the First Light Festival CIC said: "Located mainly within the New Market area of the town, the centre piece will be a set of three life-size marsh ponies created by local artists Sarah Cannell, Rachael Long and Andy Jarrett.

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"A family walking trail linking the three ponies with 12 other hand-crafted ponies and 50 smaller ones will take place across the town.

"In addition, there will be a makers’ market, hands-on family activities and street entertainment as well as locally-sourced food and drink, all creating a mini-festival feel to attract local as well as out-of-season visitors."

With each of the markets being specific and original to the towns, reflecting stand-out businesses and key characteristics, the 'Discover Leiston' market will celebrate the opening of the new Church Community Garden.

It will also include a number of eclectic musical performances, a makers’ market, plants and vintage stalls as well as antiques and crafts stalls hosted at the Long Shop Museum.

As well as these events, First Light is also delivering a consultancy package of support to advise other towns - including Lowestoft.

Further details can be found online via https://www.marketplaceproject.co.uk/