The Bellingen Community Markets (BCM) is an activity of the Bellingen Shire Resident’s Association (BSRA). Originally conceived to display and sell local, lovingly grown produce and unique arts and craft work prevalent to the Bellingen Shire, it found a spiritual home and foundations when established at Bellingen Park in 1980. The stalls of those early Markets has grown to average 250 stalls every third Saturday of the month.
The funds raised by the BCM are returned to the community via contributions to the Shire’s various community groups, educational, sporting and arts organisations and others by BSRA.
The BCM employs a manager to organise the monthly market and a dozen skilled staff for market day. Staff are trained at market expense in Traffic Control (OH&S) and Senior 1st Aid. They are fully inducted into the operational and safety procedures ensuring the safe and efficient running of BCM.
Apart from community contributions and employment and training opportunities BCM seeks to engage our community in the stewardship of the event and its environment by inviting a community organisation as the Community Group of the Month. They assist staff with early setup and afternoon cleanup and are given access to a free site and hold a donation bucket collection which reaps surprising and has positive outcomes for their brigades, clubs or P&C’s treasury.
Improvements to the ‘Market’ (Bellingen) Park are another aspect of the work undertaken by BCM in partnership with stakeholders involved such as Bellingen Shire Council, Bellingen Valley & Dorrigo Rugby League Football Club – Pathways, Environmental Regeneration projects, entertainment stage, seating and the Waste Management Recycling System initiative and more ongoing.
The raison d’etre of BCM to provide benefit to the Bellingen Shire Community is evident. Thousands now attend, achieving a flow on benefit to local business, accommodation houses and the local tourism industry. BCM exists now as Markets did in ancient times – a cultural, social, and commercial gathering place where locals mix with travellers from distant places, delicious food and beverage is enjoyed in the company of family and friends (old & new), live music is played and appreciated and the essentials and non-essentials are bought and sold with bargains galore.
We hope you enjoy your time with us and will agree
The Bellingen Community Markets…not just a marketplace but a great place to be.