Indoor Market display opportunity for Community arts and crafts groups
PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 26 October 2020
Following a ‘desperate’ period during lockdown for Exmouth’s Indoor Market, community groups are being urged to take empty stalls rent free.
The coronavirus pandemic has left the Indoor Market with nine empty stalls and, until the retail industry stabilises, these spaces are being offered as a way for creative groups to show off what they do.
Jerry Miller, manager of Exmouth Indoor Market, has extended the offer after a ‘desperate time’ during lockdown.
He said: “I now have nine empty stalls - I thought it would be great to offer them rent free to the community, until a time that the retail sector stabilises.
“It would be lovely to see if we could showcase some of the creativity in our area, so I am reaching out to the painters, sculptors and the craft sectors and let them use the space, for display or sales.
“I believe this would be a great opportunity for them to show off their talents to a wider audience - it will also benefit me to have the empty space used productively.”
In mid-March, Mr Miller locked the town centre building down and told traders they would not be responsible for their rent.
The Indoor Market reopened in June, but have lost four traders since lockdown.
As he was shielding, Mr Miller relied on his caretaker John Langdon to prepare the building for opening.
He told the Journal, Mr Langdon was ‘immense’ and also paid tribute to the shallholders who have ‘taken the social distancing measures seriously’.
The Indoor Market has track and trace at the front door with hand sanitiser stations at the entrance and exit; a one-way system is also in place.
Mr Miller, who has been manager at the Indoor Market since 1996, has been in discussions with Exmouth Art Group, which has expressed an interest, and is hoping to attract some craft makers.
He said: “I have never in that time ever come across a more desperate situation than the one we now find ourselves in today.
“It is so sad to see the damage this pandemic is doing to our economy and our physical and mental health.
“I ask all Exmothians to please support your local shops at this difficult time, they need your help like never before.”
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