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10 NEWS


MARKET TRADER, JULY 6 - 19, 2018


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Securing future for historic market


The instal lat ion of a mezzanine floor and the creation of more open space are just two of the ideas that could be the key to transforming a historic Scottish market, local media has reported Jo Murray took up the


role of market manager at Inverness’s Victorian Market six months ago, and since then she has been meeting traders and other interested groups regularly and looking at ways in which the historic site’s future viability can be secured. Proposals already made include extending opening hours, revamping shop fronts and hosting events, as well as exploring how the market hall section might be remodelled in a bid to attract more shoppers. “The Victorian Market


is very much loved by the local community but the local community doesn’t necessarily use it,” Mrs Murray told local media. “We need to encourage


local customers to come in and shop.” The plan for the market proposes that a programme of work is carried out in three phases, the first priority being to refurbish the stonework at the market’s Academy Street entrance and replace the glass door. “It is a really iconic entrance,” Mrs Murray said, “but I think it is recognised the smoked glass which has been installed is a bit of a visual barrier to the market. “The intention is to change


it to clear glass and make it a more attractive entrance.” The next phase would see


the shop fronts in Market Arcade refurbished and brought more in keeping with the building. It is hoped that funding


will be available from the Academy Street Townscape


The Victorian Market in Inverness (Photo: Duncan Brown)


Heritage Project, the aim of which is to regenerate that area of the city centre. With that funding due to


finish in 2020, the proposed improvements are at the top of the list of priorities with regard to the market action plan. The third phase of the


project would focus on the market hall itself. “This is the area potentially


most subject to change,” Mrs Murray said. “We are going to look


at having a feasibility study done to see what is physically possible and how much can be developed to create a better and more usable space, better units and a better environment.” A mezzanine floor is one possibility which will be looked at, and Mrs Murray is particularly keen to see


more cafes, restaurants and food units, while zoned areas such as a restaurant quarter or a jewellery hub are another possibility. “We also want to try and


create a more open area which we could use as a venue,” Mrs Murray added. Of the 36 units at the


market, 32 are currently occupied, and there has also been interest from other prospective tenants. “The Victorian Market is


quite unique in Inverness and we need to exploit that,” Mrs Murray said. “We are trading healthily but we want to maximise our potential. “With the future of the


British High Street in decline at the moment, we need to look at as many options to make it viable for all business and attract new brands into the city centre.”


Deal struck between operator and council


Bangor City Council have announced that an agreement has been reached with the Bangor Market Company, as a result of which the market in Bangor City Centre will continue to operate for a further three year period, until 2021. A statement from Bangor City Council, reported in local media, read: “Both the City Council and the Market Company are happy to proceed with this arrangement which without doubt enhances the footfall and trade within the City Centre every Friday which is good for the public, traders and local retail outlets which also benefit.” The weekly Friday market on Bangor High Street was launched in 2013 and continues to prove popular with both local residents and visitors to the city.


Bangor market manager Emyr Owen told local media: “The market has definitely got stronger since last Autumn and we’re seeing very good footfall.


“Trade has improved for most


traders – at the moment there are over 25 stalls. I managed to keep a good number of stalls standing through the winter months, on average about 17. Comparing it to other North Wales markets it was a good result. “I’m trying to find more artisan stalls, mainly in the food sector, but this takes time to find the right ones. I would like to put more stalls in middle of the High Street, it then would be without doubt be the best street market in North Wales and beyond.”


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