LUDLOW traders are gearing up for the most important period of the year for many of them.

The town’s independent traders can be especially dependent upon the run up to Christmas that can make the difference and account for more than half of annual takings at the till.

There will be a number of initiatives to try to encourage people to keep their spending in the local area.

Ludlow Town Council works with the Chamber of Trade on events including the three ‘Tinsel Tuesday’ markets that take place on the first three Tuesdays in December.

These markets replaced late night opening that was not considered to bring the benefits that it had been hoped.

It is usual for the three markets to be supported by Shropshire Council with free parking for part of the day.

The ‘kick-off’ for the main Christmas selling season in Ludlow comes on the final Saturday of November with the Medieval Fair in the Castle and town centre.

This includes some traders dressing up in Victorian costume to provide atmosphere.

As night falls the Christmas lights are switched on. There will be two tress in the centre of Ludlow, one of them put up by Ludlow Town Council and the other a ‘Tree of Light’ on which people can remember loved one who will not be around during the Festive season.

During the weeks before Christmas there will be other attractions that include carol singing and a visit from Santa.

An important factor in local sales can be the weather. If it is very cold and travel conditions are difficult this can provide a boost to the amount of money that is taken in the town or maybe harmful by keeping visitors away.

Ludlow traders are fearful about the possibility of a new out of town supermarket opening next week.