A SUCCESSFUL market trader is encouraging school leavers to follow in his footsteps in a bid to revive dying markets across Cheshire.

Steven Minshull, 28, whose family run Minshull’s garden centre, in Eardswick Lane, Crewe, is preparing for the launch of his new ‘youth market’, offering youngsters the chance to try their hand at one of the oldest forms of commerce.

Steven, who also runs the family stall in Nantwich market, hopes the idea can go some way to bridging the generation gap at markets up and down the country.

He added: “I started working on our stall in Nantwich Market when I was about 13.

“In the 80s markets were a really big thing but I have noticed the decline.

“If you go to any market you see that not many young people attend them, unless they are with their gran. The reason being, that there are no young people selling at them.

“The demographic of the people that go to markets these days is the same as those selling.”

The first youth market event will be held at Minshull’s garden centre on Saturday, March 24, giving young people a business opportunity without the pressure of huge overheads, staff wages and long term commitments.

Steven added: “I’ve stood for years on the market and always thought that there is a gap that needs to be filled.

“I want people to broaden their minds and think of what the world is like these days.

“If I was starting off again, I would be looking at the latest fad product, like iPhones.

“However, the market is perfect for anyone who makes anything or who has an idea with nowhere else to showcase it.

“It would be great to see musicians or artists come down. They could get themselves exposure by selling t-shirts, or tickets to their gigs.

“The scope is massive.”

And despite fearing the future of our historic markets Steven is optimistic that now is the time to act.

“I don’t think there is a better time to do this,” he added.

“Markets are a dying trade. Crewe, for example, is on its knees - the reason why my dad moved here from Stoke was because of its market but you can’t make money there anymore.

“But the facilities are still there. There are markets everywhere - it’s like having huge amounts of factory space but nothing on the production line.”

Tables at the market cost £5 and will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Anyone who books for the first event will get a free table at the next youth market, in Nantwich, on April 14.

For more information, or to book a table, call Steven on 01270 522482 or search ‘youth market’ on Facebook.