New city centre market proves a big hit

Cllr John Gallen, Vice Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Councils Development Committee, with Sarah Munn, Marketing Manager, Toland House Properties at the opening of Penny Square Market.
Cllr John Gallen, Vice Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Councils Development Committee, with Sarah Munn, Marketing Manager, Toland House Properties at the opening of Penny Square Market.

There was a fabulous turnout for the opening night of the new Penny Square Market in Lisburn city centre.

The official opening of the new venture was held on Thursday, November 17 and coincided with the council-organised festivities at Bow Street and Market Square to mark the switch on of the city’s Christmas lights.

There was a great turnout for the opening night of Penny Square Market at Haslems Lane on Thursday, November 17.

There was a great turnout for the opening night of Penny Square Market at Haslems Lane on Thursday, November 17.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the magical festive parade, and many of them also took the opportunity to venture down Haslems Lane to check out the new market.

“We are delighted with the response so far,” said market organiser Sarah Munn, from Toland House Properties. “Considering it’s still only November, we’re pleased at the number of people who have visited already and look forward to welcoming many more.

“Over the next five weeks, we have a mix of hot food and artisan treats on offer as well as some fantastic hand crafted gifts. There is covered seating and live music so everyone can relax and enjoy their visit.

“Each week is going to be different. We have different stall holders each day as well as our resident traders - Hollys Coffee, The Cardan, Granny Shaw’s Fudge Factory and The Little Melt Company.

“The market has a mix of hot food and festive drinks on offer, as well as beautiful Christmas gifts, winter accessories and a Santa’s Grotto hosted by Cancer Focus NI (Fridays and Saturdays only).

“The original Halfpenny Square Garden Centre has returned with fabulous Christmas wreaths and plants. We also have a covered seating area where guests can relax and enjoy the many types of food and drinks on offer.”

The former garden centre site on Haslems Lane has been transformed into a compact 14-stall market and entertainment space that’s set to be a long-term fixture in the city centre.

“Penny Square Market is obviously small considering the space, but we wanted to show everyone how we have transformed the area and have created a space that can be used for a variety of future purposes, starting initially with our Christmas Market,” Sarah continued.

“The market will be a permanent feature in Lisburn and will begin in the New Year following the Christmas Market.”

In partnership with the Department for Communities, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has invested in infrastructure for Penny Square Market as part of the city centre Revitalisation Programme, which will enable the market to run initially until December 17.

Speaking on the opening night, the vice chair of the council’s Development Committee, Cllr John Gallen commented: “It is great to see the plans for Penny Square Market unfolding. In the run-up to Christmas it is fantastic to see more visitors and shoppers out and about in Lisburn city centre buying gifts for loved ones whilst enjoying the array of entertainment on offer along with other city centre events and attractions.

“I congratulate Penny Square Market on their efforts so far and would wish them all the best for the Christmas period and beyond.”

Market opening times are: Tuesday 11am - 6pm, Thursday 12pm - 8pm, Friday 12pm - 8pm and Saturday 11am - 6pm.

Most of the pitches have been filled, but anyone interested in taking a stall at Penny Square Market should call Sarah on 028 9262 8354 or email sarahmunn@tolandhouse.com