THE organisers of a popular monthly market in Ilkley have applied to relocate it to The Grove in order to expand.

The Real Food Ilkley Market has been growing since it started three years ago. It is currently held on the first Sunday the month in South Hawksworth Street, Ilkley.

Market organisers announced this week that from September 1 the market plans to relocate to The Grove. It is run by Lucy Allen, Becky Nash and Lee Teal who said: “The move to The Grove is an amazing opportunity, we’re thrilled that Real Food Ilkley will have such a prestigious address. Ilkley is a hub for people who want to make things happen and there is a great range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants in Ilkley now who are working together and supporting each other, the area attracts real talent.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The Real Food Market attracts thousands of visitors to Ilkley and has proven to be highly popular and successful. In order to expand, organisers have applied to move the market to The Grove where there is more space.

“The Council would like to support their aspirations to grow the market and we are working with them to see how they can achieve this.

“The authority’s Market Service is currently consulting the Ilkley BID, Ward Councillors and our Highways Department, and will take this feedback into consideration before making a final decision. Local markets encourage entrepreneurialism and offer great opportunities for small businesses to grow and try out new products.”

Helen Rhodes, Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) manager, said in principle they agreed with the idea to relocate the market. In a letter to Lee Teal of Real Food Ilkley Market she said: “The extension of the market as you propose ties in with our desire for Ilkley to host more high quality events, to draw in more visitors and increase business for our levy payers.”

She adds: “We have discussed levy payers being given the opportunity to have a stall on the market as part of the expansion and this would be something we would expect to see.”

However, the move has drawn some criticism. Cllr Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) said the closure of The Grove for the market would inconvenience residents: “I believe that Ilkley is a spa town and not a market town. It has a market charter but Ilkley is not Skipton - it is different. My question is what is the matter with South Hawksworth Street? I think town is experiencing too much turbulence at the moment and a little bit of status quo would be good.”

Real Food Ilkley takes place on the first Sunday of the month at 10am to 3pm February to December. To inquire about stalls (producer and community) please contact