Worker Bee Markets, Stockport’s only multi-centre artisan market organiser, launches the Worker Bee Artisan Awards.

Aimed at artisan micro-businesses who live, create and sell in SK postcodes, these awards offer cash prizes, handmade awards and mentorship to help them grow their businesses and develop their trade.

The judges for the Awards, which will be open for nominations on 1 May, are MP for Cheadle, Mary Robinson, Sponsor and local estate agent Ric Pickford, Stockport business owner Dylan Moore, Greater Manchester food blogger Keeley Watts and community champion and artist Natalie Kaciubskyj.

They have been hand-picked to judge the Awards by Worker Bee Markets’ owner and curator Clare Simpson, due to their connection with and support for these local markets which started in 2018 and have grown to now include six regular events and pop-ups (in Bramhall Village, Hazel Grove, Cheadle, Poynton, Marple Bridge and Reddish) as well as working alongside the Seashell Trust in Cheadle Hulme to enhance their charity Summer Fair in June.

The idea wouldn’t have been possible without sponsorship from Snapes Estate Agents whose values reflect those of Worker Bee Markets. Support is also coming from Aqua Design Group, based in central Stockport, who have agreed to mentor a fledgeling business by providing branding, marketing and social media support to a new maker.

The Awards, all named after the Worker Bee concept are as follows: Pollen Award offering marketing support for new businesses; Honeycomb Award offering upto £500 towards a piece of equipment to help a business grow; Beeswax Award to reward sustainability and green criteria; Beehive Award to reward the best stall layout. The Nectar Award celebrates the best-tasting produce or food. Traders and Makers will vote for the best venue in the Beekeeper Award. The public can get involved too by voting for their favourite stall, who they think is the Bees’ Knees.

Winners will receive an award commissioned and handmade by their peers and a cheque for £100 each to help their business grow.

More information on who can apply and how to apply are on the Worker Bee Markets website