THE monthly farmers’ market in Malvern is returning this spring after a new operator has been found to run it.

The market usually takes place on the third Saturday of each month, but Worcestershire Farmers Market will no longer run the event.

But the council is now working with Boffy Arts and Events, which helps run the Great Malvern Food Festival and the arts markets in the Priory grounds to breathe new life into the regular farmers market.

Plans are still in the early stages of development, but it is hoped to relaunch the market on Easter Saturday, April 20.

Cllr David Chambers said: “Being able to buy fresh, locally produced food is increasingly important as we become more aware of the impact food production has on our environment.

“We have some wonderful food and drink producers in the district and surrounding local area and we now have an opportunity to revitalise the farmers market to help support them in offering their products to the public.”

There will be no full market in January and February, but one of the regular stallholders, Tudge Meats of Richards Castle, near Ludlow, will be on Abbey Road on the market dates to sell fresh meats and sausages.

The market has proved popular with residents and visitors looking to buy local produce since it moved to Abbey Road in 2000.

Elaine Osborne, secretary of the Worcestershire Farmers' Market Group, said: "Recent retirements in the group and a dwindling membership in the Malvern side of the county meant that we could only muster a handful of regular stallholders for Malvern, so one of our members suggested handing over the running of Malvern market to a local tried and trusted operator, Boffy Arts and Events, who is familiar with Malvern and already runs a highly successful arts and crafts market in the town.

"The group accepted this proposal unanimously and we are so pleased that Steve Boffy has agreed to take over the reins. Our members who wish to continue trading in Malvern have been invited to participate the new market.

"This venture is good news for us, good news for the people and economy of Malvern and the surrounding area, good news for Boffy Arts and Events and good news for fellow small local producers.

"I am personally looking forward to the inaugural market under the Boffy banner in April. We urge people, especially in this current climate, to rediscover locally grown, reared and produced food."