A new arts and craft market launched in Birmingham at the weekend.
About 30 city arts and crafts makers set up stalls at the Handmade Birmingham market, which aims to provide a shot in the arm for the city’s creative industry.
Backed by Marketing Birmingham and Retail Birmingham, the market will run parallel to Bull Ring Markets every Saturday and Sunday from 9pm until 5pm, selling jewellery, ceramics, textiles, fashion, photography and fine art – all produced by artists from the West Midlands.
Daniel Cremin, of Birmingham-based Dynamic Arts, which has helped establish the market along with Birmingham City Council and the City Centre Partnership, said: “Over recent years the creative industry has become a key priority for the city’s economy and is recognised as a potential source of creating jobs and post-recession growth.
“Currently Birmingham does not have enough opportunities for crafts people to sell their products, which is seeing local talent instead taking their skills and independent businesses elsewhere.
“A high-profile city centre arts and crafts market is critical if the region is to retain its creative graduates and harness the region’s innovation capital.
“This market aims to be the largest and finest weekly gathering of the region’s most interesting and individual independent crafts people.
“It will enable local artists to offer an invigorating and thriving crafts market that provides employment and compliments the city centre’s shopping experience, bringing a distinctive sense of place and culture.”
The market is being sponsored by Creative Open Workshops (COW), which has been running a similar monthly event at the Custard Factory in Digbeth.
Mr Cremin added: “Despite the low footfall of the Custard Factory with its location slightly outside the city centre, the market run by COW has been incredibly popular and has more than 174 traders registered with it.
“That has inspired the idea to come up with a similar market that is more frequent and in a landmark location.”