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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Co Antrim market once again crowned at national awards ceremony

Pictured are Richard Phelan and Eoin McConnell producers from Naturally North Coast & Glens Market with Shauna McFall.

Naturally North Coast & Glens (NNCG) is celebrating after winning the UK Best Small Speciality Market 2023 at the Great British Market Awards, hosted recently by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) at its annual conference.

The awards recognise the positive and essential contribution that local markets make to their local economy and communities.

Naturally North Coast & Glens has been honoured twice before at the awards, lifting the title for UK Best Community Market in 2018 and in 2020, and is very proud of its latest achievement.

David Preston, Chief Executive of NABMA, gave a glowing summary of the market saying:

“This award-winning social enterprise delivers a travelling artisan market throughout the year. It is a community market where the emphasis is on

local support, good food and local produce, and handmade merchandise.  

"The markets are a showcase of local food, culture, heritage and traditions with visionary and exciting management and partnerships. The markets provide the opportunity to start and grow a business as evidenced by many young people

now trading. These successful events support communities and tourism and are footfall drivers for towns and settlements around the Causeway Coast

and Glens region of Northern Ireland".

Richard Phelan and Eoin McConnell producers from Naturally North Coast & Glens Market with Shauna McFall.

The Chief Executive continued:

“Year on year this competition demonstrates the value and pride that towns and cities place in their local market and the innovation and diversity that applies in modern market management. Following the return from the pandemic it is clear that many local markets have a renewed trust, interest

and a recognition of their importance within the day-to-day life of their communities.

"Nominations came in from far and wide and. presented the most difficult of jobs for our judging panel. The judging panel was representative of some of the most experienced market professionals in the industry. We would like to pay a huge thank you to the NMTF and their Chief Executive Joe Harrison for their support of the 2023 Awards and also our sponsors Market Place and Blachere Illumination.  Huge congratulations to all the winning markets!”

Shauna McFall from Naturally North Coast & Glens Market.

Shauna McFall, NNCG Manager attended the conference in Birmingham on 27th January to receive the award and she says the entire market family should feel proud of this achievement:

“This award is testament to the talent and dedication of our traders, the commitment from our team and support from our volunteers, community,

visitors, and stakeholders.  Traders are carefully selected, and the quality of the local food, art and craft showcased is fantastic. Many of the traders have also had their produce recognized individually with awards for outstanding quality.

"The market has proved to be a fantastic starting point for so many micro businesses and it’s encouraging to see so many talented, creative artisans emerging each year. To be able to give them a platform to help them develop their business is always an honour.

"Not only is the market a fantastic place to shop, it is a community hub that brings people together and creates a sense of community. Right now, bringing people together, and strengthening that sense of community is vitally important.”

Traders with Naturally North Coast & Glens are looking forward to the start of another busy trading season, beginning with their Easter Monday Market

at the Ballycastle Seafront on Monday 10th April.

After this, the market will be popping up in a range of locations including Limavady, Ballymoney, Benone, Ballycastle, Cushendun and beyond.


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