CHILDREN were treated to fun, free activities in Ilminster, staged to launch the town council taking over running the market.

Face painting and balloon modelling attracted dozens of people to the Market House.

Ilminster Town Council is running the market after staffing changes at South Somerset District Council, which had previously run it.

Town clerk Joy Norris said: “Obviously the weather has been terrible and that has meant fewer people have come out to the market.

“As it was half-term we thought we would combine the launch with offering activities for parents to do with their children.

“When people come to the market, they will probably stop for a coffee or wander round the shops, so a good market is very important for Ilminster.

“We think it’s a good thing the town council has taken over the running – we are local, so hopefully it will work to everyone’s advantage.”

The town council has some plans for the market in the pipeline, such as improving advertising and looking into working with the Chamber of Commerce and other retailers to put on similar events in the future.

The market runs 8am to 1pm every Thursday at the Market House, with regular stalls selling fish, bread, vegetables and much more.