Continental market attracted 25,000 people to Cookstown

The Stilt Walkers towered over shoppers at the  Continental Market held in Cookstown last weekend.INMM2014-371
The Stilt Walkers towered over shoppers at the Continental Market held in Cookstown last weekend.INMM2014-371

“Cookstown has now established itself in ‘market folklore’ as the best (Continental Market) event in quite a few years and certainly the best short event in Northern Ireland”.

That’s the view of Allan Hartwell, Managing Director of Market Place Europe Ltd, who brought the Continental Market to Cookstown, in association with Cookstown District Council and Cookstown Town Centre Forum.

Cookstown District Council and the Town Centre Forum were delighted with the success of Cookstown Continental Market held from 9-11 May 2014.

This was a weekend like no other. With 40 international traders descending on Cookstown from 15 countries, they brought with them a fresh and cosmopolitan charm to the town centre and created a tremendous buzz of activity and excitement in the town.

Allan Hartwell from Market Place Europe Ltd has completed a review of Cookstown’s Continental Market and advised that an astounding 25,000 people attended the market over the 3 days.

He stated “Cookstown offered so much as a venue… and certainly has a strong independent retail offer. The Continental Market traders did exceptionally well and indicated they had at least a good event but most said it was excellent and many have had to make arrangements for new stock to be delivered. As an example the Dutch Plant Garden which brought sufficient stock for 3 events had to return to Holland to restock. This was the case for a number of our traders”.

Council has been inundated with positive feedback on the Continental Market from members of the public, town centre retailers and visitors to the town.

For this event alone, Council’s Continental Market facebook campaign reached in excess of 90,000 people and feedback from Market Place Europe indicated their “social media has never been so busy with so many positive comments”.

Mr Hartwell also paid tribute to Cookstown District Council all the local partners he engaged with in organising the event, stating “It was an absolute pleasure to work with your team in delivering a fantastic event for the town. It was a huge success made all the easier by the ‘can do’ attitude which we encountered in every aspect of the Council which was very refreshing”.

The Continental Market also made a valuable contribution to local businesses and figures released this week show that the 80 Continental Stallholder staff spent over £20,000 in Cookstown during their 3 day visit for costs associated with accommodation, food, fuel, etc.

To capture the essence of this special event, Council commissioned the production of a short film to showcase some of the highlights of the weekend’s events. Why not log on to to see if you have been captured on camera!

Finally, the question on everyone’s lips is whether the Continental Market will return in 2015?

Council is delighted to report that the dates are already secured and that once again Cookstown will host the first event on Market Place Europe’s Spring Tour.

Cookstown’s next Continental Market will take place from 8-10 May 2015 and Council is keen to ensure that this fantastic event becomes our signature town centre event each year.

The successful delivery of the Continental Market has further reinforced Cookstown’s ability to host major international events and reaffirms our position as the ‘Retail Capital of Mid Ulster’.