Market towns should adopt the aggressive promotional tactics used by supermarkets if they want to survive the recession, consumer leaders said yesterday.

Britain’s 2,000 historic market towns, the genteel face of the rural economy, should introduce town loyalty cards and use food sales and festivals to keep their centres flourishing. These were the messages for more than 200 town planners who attended the Action for Market Towns annual conference in Melton Mowbray.

Chris Dare, AMT’s chief executive, said these communities could no longer rely on 'hanging baskets and market stalls'.

The Times