THE new Largs open air market in Gallowgate Square has been hailed a success by organisers after hundreds visited on its first weekend.

Traders including AD Paton butchers, Hooked on Pets, Continental and Candy Box, Westcoast Cakes, Geraldos, Studio 44, SWIG, Bosun’s Table, Haylie Stores and Kandy Kritters all took advantage of the new venture to boost sales.

The Coronabears launched the new summer market with their last few remaining calendars to raise funds for the renewal and restoration of Douglas Park, giving the opportunity for children to pose for selfies with the local cuddly celebs.

The good weather also helped, with some stalls selling out on the opening day.

A delighted Rosemary Giovino, of the Largs Events team, said: "It went really well. A few of the stalls sold out early on the day as they didn’t anticipate how busy it would be. The locals seemed to really enjoy it, saying it was great to see the square being used for something for the town.

"There were hundreds of visitors, many from out of town, who heard about it and decided to visit - then spent the day in Largs. So it had the knock on effect of getting people to spend in local cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.

"One stall holder told us she sold more on the day than she would usually sell in three at her premises."

Rosemary says organisers will listen to feedback from visitors to improve the next event - with hot food likely to be added to the menu.

Councillor Ian Murdoch, chair of Largs Events, added: "I was very pleased with how successful it was, We enjoyed a lot of positive feedback from the public and traders alike.

"It is a learning curve so next time those who ran out will bring more stock.

"It is a six week trial but if the first week is anything to go by it is going to be a long term thing.

"An important point is that the focus is on the local businesses getting first priority. With North Ayrshire's new community wealth building initiative designed at strengthening the local economy and keeping the pound in North Ayrshire, we are aiming for the stalls to be occupied by Largs businesses first and then a North Ayrshire businesses second."

The new market returns this Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

The volunteers behind the project say it can help boost businesses as they look to chart a course out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gallowgate Street was resurfaced and revitalised as part of the council's masterplan at a cost of £186,000. It has been used as an al fresco dining space by neighbouring bars and cafes.

There is also a community stall where all local businesses and organisations can leave information, flyers, and leaflets for visitors to pick up.

Photos: Ian Murdoch/Lauren Fairfull