Traders at St George’s Market were in jubilant form on Saturday morning, after the market was named Best Large Indoor Market in the UK.
St George’s scooped top honours in The Great British Market Awards, beating off stiff competition from 20 other UK markets.
Judges described St George’s as a “national treasure”, and “a destination point playing a fundamental role in uniting communities”.
Councillor Gareth Spratt, deputy chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said:
“I think lots of people will agree with the judges’ description of St George’s Market as a national treasure; it really is a true Belfast icon. Tourists and locals absolutely love it, and rightly so. The variety of traders and products under one roof is just incredible – it offers the very best in local produce, arts and crafts. Anyone who has been to the market always comments on the vibrancy of the atmosphere – there’s such a feel-good factor the moment you step inside.
“To have been named best indoor market in the UK is such an achievement, especially when you consider some of the competition we were up against. It’s given the traders a real boost and receiving an accolade like this is testament to all their hard work and the work of council staff in making the market such a huge success.”
In awarding the much-coveted title, judges paid tribute to the market team for “consistently seeking and driving change and improvement”.
A recent market research survey revealed 66% of St George’s visitors cited our market as their main reason for being in the city, with 15% travelling from out-of-state. It welcomes more than one million people each year and generates an estimated £40.9 million for the local economy.
St George’s – which is now home to more than 500 traders over the weekend – dates back to 1896 but there has been a Friday market on the historic site since 1604.
For more information and for visiting hours, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/