Harper Appeals For Funding Following Successful Relocation Of Dumfries Farmers Market

Local MSP Emma Harper has written to Fergus Ewing MSP to urge that funding is made available for Dumfries Farmers’ Market to capitalise on the phenomenal success of the market following its relocation to Dumfries Railway Station. 


Ms Harper attended the market in its new location on Platform 1 of Dumfries Railway Station on Easter Sunday which attracted more than 1,200 people and saw many traders selling out of stock completely and others reporting a doubling of sales.


Commenting on the Farmers’ Market, Ms Harper said:

“It was fantastic to see Dumfries Farmers’ Market move successfully to a new accessible and weather proofed location, within walking distance of much of Dumfries.  To have such a wealth of high quality, local produce made accessible to local people is something we should celebrate.
“The market is run on a not for profit basis entirely by volunteers and while they do an excellent job, it is clear that investment in infrastructure, signage, equipment and marketing is needed to help this market realise its full potential in its fantastic new venue.  
“The Cabinet Secretary last week announced a new £250,000 Regional Food Fund as part of the Scottish Government’s £5m investment in supporting regional food and drink.  I would hope that Dumfries Farmers’ Market will be one of the first organisations to benefit from this funding and I am seeking guidance from the Cabinet Secretary in how this can happen.”


Ms Harper submitted a parliamentary motion this week welcoming the relocation and congratulating the Dumfries Farmers’ Market volunteers and ScotRail on the move.  The motion, which has now received support from other MSPs, reads:


That the Parliament welcomes the new location of Dumfries Farmers’ Market to platform 1 of Dumfries railway station on the first Sunday of each month; recognises the months of hard work by the ScotRail team and the Dumfries Farmers’ Market volunteers to facilitate the move to the weather-proofed Victorian platform, which will encourage attendance during dreich days and brings the market within walking and cycling distance of Dumfries residents, enabling active travel to it; acknowledges more than 1,200 folk attended this first, hugely successful market; considers that markets are the foundation of the nation’s food and drink sector, providing accessible routes to market for business start-ups, creating natural business clusters, providing peer-to-peer support and enabling businesses to test new products and ideas with customers to provide valuable business development research; believes that local markets have a positive local economic impact on their host towns and villages, helping local businesses to thrive, creating food tourism experiences and keeping local money circulating in rural economies, benefitting everyone; understands that the south west of Scotland is filled with artisan food producers and craft makers, creating quality products of the best provenance that are bursting with passion and flavour; considers that farmers’ and community markets are the perfect way to discover what it sees as this wealth of local produce; hopes that the Dumfries Farmers’ Market volunteers will be supported in taking advantage of funding opportunities, such as the new Regional Food Fund, to build on their success and grow the market, and wishes all involved well for future success, from farm to fork.


Ms Harper added:

“It is becoming ever more apparent that we must redouble our efforts to support the growth of indigenous local businesses in South West Scotland, by recognising the value of our local artisan business base. 
“More than 25 businesses took part in Dumfries Farmers’ Market on Easter Sunday, and this natural coming together of small producers happens at farmers’ and community markets right across South West Scotland almost every weekend. 
“By supporting local businesses we can create a more resilient, more successful and more confident local economy.  So I’m keen to make sure that initiatives like farmers’ markets have the support they deserve to help them reach their potential.” 

Dumfries Farmers’ Market is encouraging other local traders to apply to participate in the market, which takes part on the first Sunday of each month, from 11am-3pm. To apply, email [email protected] . A waiting list will operate for any traders who are not offered a stall immediately.


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