A TRADERS market has been hailed a huge success and it could herald more positive times ahead for Whitehaven town centre.

Gerard Richardson, owner of the Richardson’s of Whitehaven wine shop, organised a Cumbrian Traders Market in St Nicholas’ Gardens, one of a series of events in Whitehaven with the town council and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, and said the result was “excellent”.

Gerard said: “We had a really good turnout. All of the traders had a good day, and everyone we spoke to wanted to pre-book for next year.

“The Lord Lieutenant (Claire Hensman) was really taken by it. It was a very good start to what’s going to be a good run of events over the next few months.”

Next up for Whitehaven town centre is a continental market running in St Nicholas’ Gardens from June 24 to 27.

Cumbrian Traders Day takes place on June 25 as well as a science show for youngsters sponsored by Sellafield Ltd. Gerard hopes to see the town as vibrant as it was this past weekend during the upcoming events.

“People were coming around in family groups on holiday – they’d travelled across from the central Lake District. You’re always a bit nervous these days that people aren't going to come out and support.”

New Whitehaven mayor Chris Hayes, mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie and the Lord Lieutenant and her husband were among those browsing the market. Tourism provided a welcome knock-on effect for Whitehaven’s high street.

“Our staple is the locals but the extras come from the tourists. It’s like the icing on the cake for the day.”