TRADERS have warned that Kendal farmers’ market could fall apart unless people start using it more.

Several traders have formed a focus group to help rally public support for the market, and combat a slump in customers.

Jane Merritt, of the Old Dairy Bakery, in Old Hutton, said trade had dropped off, and last month her stand took only ten pounds.

“It was dire,” she said. “I worry that people are going off the market. It’s quality stuff we offer, rather than quantity.”

Ann Elliott, of Elliott’s Chutneys, in Arnside, said many people were not aware the market was on because of a lack of advertising.

“We need signs and banners on the way into Kendal, or more and more people driving through the town are going to miss us.”

Orton butcher John Noble said a lack of disposable income had made customers increasingly dismissive of local markets.

“I’ve been coming here for 11 years and it’s still worth it, but it’s increasingly difficult to make money.”

Made in Cumbria ‘s farmers’ market co-ordinator Steve Dickinson said the 22 traders were suffering due to the pinch of the recession.

“People are shopping for discounts at supermarkets,” he said. “Some of the traders are doing very well and selling out, but it’s been tough for others.

“We are looking at ways to help, and are seeking a new fruit and vegetable trader to add to the market, as well as using online media, like Facebook, to promote the market.”