A SPECIAL market day to celebrate Bletchley town centre has attracted 80 new stalls.
An action team including the town council, businesses, retailers and traders came up with the idea as part of a bid to promote the area.
As well as holding the Love Bletchley Day on Saturday, May 12, the group has also applied for funding under the Portas Pilot Bid.
Retail guru Mary Portas has been commissioned by the Government to come up with 28 recommendations to save the high street.
Bletchley town centre has suffered from competition from thecentre:mk, as well as other large retail parks and supermarkets in the city.
Although the current vacancy rate is under one per cent, the former Co-Op building remains a prominent eyesore. It has now been empty for five years.
The market, managed by Bletchley & Fenny Stratford Town Council, has also been declining.
Regeneration officer Jane Forder said: “Regeneration of the town centre is one of our main priorities and we have applied for funding under the Portas Pilot Bid. We have been heavily promoting our market.
“We set up an action team with businesses, retailers and traders in the town, residents, community groups and MK College in March, to look at arranging a market day.
“The response has been incredible and we have confirmed bookings of 80 additional stalls.”
Among the attractions at the Love Bletchley Day will be a court room drama, a fashion show and live snakes and reptiles.
Mrs Forder said: “A lot of Mary Portas’ recommendations are based around the market. We are hoping to bring that fun feel back – trying to recreate that excitement in the town centre.”
The event takes place between 9am and 4pm.