TAVISTOCK’s famous annual Goose Fair is set to return on Wednesday (October 11) with a reduction in the area needed to be let to traders as the cost of living hits.

The long-awaited popular one-day open-air market in the centre of the town has shrunk  with decline in the number of new applications from traders and some existing traders choosing not to return. However, 200 stalls will be open from 9am offering a vibrant variety of local and national exhibitors, a fun fair and street food.

This year’s event is expected to be affected by the prevailing economic climate and related challenges, not least rising operational costs and pitch take-up. In common with many other events nationally and locally Goose Fair is expected to be affected by the economy. A small increase of 5% was agreed in pitch fees, striking a cost balance between increased costs and affordability by traders.

To reflect the reduced number of trader stands, the fair will not include Market Road this year. However, Butchers’ Hall and Pannier Market will remain open later and the area covered will be the same historic area that has always been busy in many years past. The council works manager has brought down the un-let space substantially in recent months, which is said to be a significant achievement  in the circumstances.

The whole event, including the fun fair, will close earlier after concerns that some traders wanted to leave the site earlier because the trading day was too long.  This earlier shutting is hoped to make the event attractive to potential exhibitors.