TRADERS are set to host a virtual street market after popular markets across the district were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents will be able to scratch their shopping itch as independent traders look to sell their wares at an online market this weekend.

With the lockdown entering its ninth week, popular street markets in Braintree and Witham have had to be cancelled until further notice.

However, with the help of the district council, traders will hold a market on Facebook this Saturday (May 30) - the date the next outdoor market was originally going to be held.

Residents will be able to browse a virtual market place with local businesses.

Businesses taking part have been encouraged to post images and videos of their stock with information about the business.

They will also add links to their Facebook pages and websites so customers can contact them as residents wishing to buy items will need to contact the trader and organise with them directly.

Braintree Council economic development boss Tom Cunningham said: “Coronavirus has had a devastating effect on many local independent businesses and is taking us all away from our town centres and high streets.

"Bringing the street market to our residents and visitors virtually will allow us to recreate a market-like atmosphere for those missing them and create an opportunity to support our local businesses and makers.

“We don’t want it to be like Facebook Marketplace or eBay - it will be more about giving people a bit of information about traders and their products and special offers, as a way of keeping our street market spirit alive during these unprecedented times.”

Once the market has closed, residents will still be able to view items and get in touch with the traders.

To take part in the Facebook market, visit