AN INDEPENDENT brewer has announced plans to host a weekly Christmas market to support local businesses, as well as raise funds for mental health charity Dorset Mind.

Hall and Woodhouse (H&W) will run the market from its brewery in Blandford, giving independent businesses and budding entrepreneurs the chance to sell their goods while bringing the community together in the run-up to Christmas.

Jess Epton, visitor centre manager and organiser of the Christmas Market, said: “Although the government is doing its bit to protect the economy, there are still plenty of creative ways that we can support our favourite local businesses. We hope that our Christmas Market can do just that, while having huge amounts of festive fun in the process.

“The independent Dorset event that we held in August proved to be very popular, so we have decided to host a weekly market over the Christmas period here at the brewery.

"I couldn’t think of a better way to bring our community together and support our locals at a time when they need it most.”

H&W is inviting small businesses to take up a pitch at the event and sell their wares to the community.

A stallholder fee of £25 includes the pitch, tea and coffee throughout the day and a bacon butty. A total of £10 from every stallholder fee will also be donated to the brewery’s chosen charity.

Jess added: “I believe that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life. Personally, this sits true with me and my role at H&W.

"I want to encourage budding businesspeople in our community to join us over the Christmas period and showcase their entrepreneurial flair, making a living from doing something they love.”

The H&W Christmas Market will be held in the brewery car park every Saturday from 10am until 4pm, starting on Saturday, November 21.

The event will be fully Covid-19 secure with strict measures in place to keep guests and the team safe. All visitors and sellers will be required to sign in and provide their details for NHS Test and Trace, while a one-way system will be in operation.

The Christmas market has been announced after H&W launched a hot desking service. Space for workers is available for £7 a day, which includes free Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee - and a free pint of Badger Beer.