Official! Shrewsbury's indoor market voted Britain's favourite
It's official - Shrewsbury's indoor market is the country's favourite market.
At a ceremony held in Birmingham this lunchtime, Shrewsbury Market Hall was named Britain's Favourite Market.
A delegation from Shrewsbury had travelled to the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) One Day Conference to hear if they had been triumphant in the annual Great British Market Awards.
Shrewsbury was competing for the title against five other finalists – markets in Barrow in Furness, Cambridge, Leeds Kirkgate, Norwich and Skipton.
It was also in the running to win two other national awards, Best Large Indoor Market or Best Market Attraction.
The first stage of Britain’s Favourite Market competition involved a public vote . The six markets with the most votes were then short-listed for the second round of the competition which involved visits by judges and a mystery shopper.
Kate Gittins, Shrewsbury's market facilities manager said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won. It came as something of a shock but when the judges began their speech we knew we had won. After that it all became a bit of an excited blur.
"It is thanks to the wonderful stall holders and our brilliant customers that we have won this award so our thanks really go out to them and to the members of the public who voted for us."
The market hall is run jointly by Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council and has 100 per cent occupancy and a healthy waiting list.
Helen Ball, town clerk for Shrewsbury Town Council, said: “We are thrilled that Shrewsbury Market Hall has been recognised as Britain’s Favourite Market.
Strength to strength
"The result bears great testimony to those who make it happen, showing outstanding customer service and a commitment to providing value for money. We are pleased that the judges were able to see for themselves what a truly fantastic market we have in Shrewsbury."
Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, added: “The result shows that our market hall is clearly a favourite with the people of Shrewsbury and it is a fabulous achievement that we have received such a fantastic accolade. I hope that this recognition means the market hall can continue to go from strength to strength over the coming years.”
The market opened in 1965 and has nearly 70 pitches. Its popularity has boomed in recent years and this was further boosted last year when it began opening for regular Saturday night events that attracted crowds of up to 1,700 people during the course of an evening.