Quake work forces market to move

Feilding Craft Market organisers were surprised when they found their venue would be closed for earthquake strengthening, leaving them scurrying for another option.

Organisers Heather and Gary Philip discovered only months out from one of the biggest craft markets in New Zealand that they would need to find a new venue.

The Feilding Craft Market has been held twice a year at the Civic Centre for 27 years but due to earthquake strengthening work organisers were told to find somewhere else to hold it.

"Cancelling the market just wasn't an option," Heather Philip said. "We have stall holders booked six months in advance."

They were presented with only one option - holding the market at the Manfeild Stadium. The 7750 square metre stadium offered the opportunity for more stall holders to come - and they did.

Double the number of stall holders have been booked for the first market this year and Heather Philip said she now has a waiting list.

She said the market is expected to return to the Civic Centre for the November event but she didn't rule out a permanent switch to Manfeild. She said the move will depend on how this weekend's event goes.

Manfeild Park chief executive Heather Verry said they would be keen for the market to cement its move.

Allan Sanson has been selling his wooden toys at the market since it started and is excited for the move. "To me it's a new area . . . I'm looking forward to it. I like the sound of it being all in the same sort of area."

He did raise concerns about the distance the stadium is from the town centre.

"Being a little bit further out most people will have to drive, whether that is going to affect it, I don't know?"

The Feilding Craft Market will be held on June 6 and June 7.

Manawatu Standard