This weekend’s farmer’s market in Stroud will have an extra special edge, as it celebrates its 20th birthday.

During that period of time, the market has played a huge role in revitalising the town centre and bringing Stroud to the attention of food lovers far and wide.

There are even coach tours of Japanese and Chinese holiday makers visiting the town regularly on Saturday mornings.

“It’s not something any of us would have imagined possible for the town back in 1999,” said market manager Gerb Gerbrands.

“Thousands of people have moved to the area over the last 20 years, having been drawn in by the excellent reputation of the market and realising all the other wonderful things we have in the district and deciding this is where they wanted to live, making Stroud one of the most buoyant rural districts in the country.

“The market has also played a huge part in sustaining diversity in farming practices by offering a platform to smaller farming businesses who may otherwise struggle to stay afloat.

“In 1999 Frocester Fayre were at their wits end as their farm was falling into debt so they gave the farmers market a try to see if it was a way forward for them.

“Twenty years later they have a thriving business based almost entirely on selling direct to the local population,” said Gerb.

Day’s Cottage’s Helen Brent-Smith said: “It has transformed our business. It’s easy to forget that 20 years ago most people had only tasted carton apple juice made from concentrate, so the market was invaluable in enabling us to give out tasters of Gloucestershire’s finest fruit and juices.”

Gerb added: “Two things have made the market what it is; firstly our wonderful farmers and food producers, providing us with the best, freshest, tastiest foods and, secondly, the wonderful people of Stroud who have supported it with their trade every week come rain or shine. I hope all our friends and supporters can come along and enjoy our birthday with us.”

“It is an honour to manage the market - here’s to the next 20 years!”

Saturday's market will feature entertainment including singing from the Enchanting the Void choir and a morris dancing display.

Special birthday shopping bags will be on sale.

The birthday cake cutting and eating will take place from 10.45am. The vegan and gluten free cakes are being baked by regular stallholder Jack Bakes.