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10 NEWS


MARKET TRADER, DECEMBER 21, 2018 - JANUARY 3, 2019


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REP. OF IRELAND 13 ISSUES 26 ISSUES


New measures for markets


Local media reports that a council in Suffolk has insisted that a market is not set to close despite declining footfall, and has unveiled a series of fresh measures aimed at boosting the number of customers. At a meeting, Forest Heath District


Council’s overview and scrutiny committee asked operations cabinet member David Bowman what action was being taken at Mildenhall and Brandon markets, following the recent successful revamp of stalls at Newmarket. Mr Bowman confirmed that a power


supply was set to be installed at Mildenhall’s market for the first time, but admitted a different approach was needed in Brandon. A report prepared for the committee


stated that Brandon’s market in particular had been “struggling for many years”, and revealed plans to make a series of family fun days part of the market’s offer, turning it into “an event market rather than a regular provisions market”. “I think markets in general had a bit of a decline and they are now starting to come back,” Mr Bowman said. “It’s more the niche stalls people are looking for and we are starting to get different people to come into the market – that’s attracting the footfall.”


He added: “We are not trying to close it


[Brandon] – we want to make them better and that would be a sad day if we had to close it.” As an incentive to fresh traders a free start-up package is being offered to new businesses and young entrepreneurs wishing to run a stall, which includes free insurance and business advice. A new West Suffolk Markets website is


also being launched, which will contain all the key details relating to all of the district’s markets. In Mildenhall, the aim was to have the


new power supply in place in time for the Christmas events, which it was hoped would attract more stallholders, particularly in the winter months. Mr Bowman added: “If there are


people coming to these places it will help shopkeepers as well as the markets. “We were really putting a lot of resources


into Newmarket to get the market on the up there, and now that’s done we can start work on the markets in Mildenhall and Brandon.” “We are looking to try and do what we


can to get footfall, so if people can come out and support them that is brilliant.” Events being planned for 2019 will be shared and promoted on the new website.


High Street closure trial


An Essex town’s High Street could be closed every Saturday for four months to allow for the expansion of the town’s outdoor market, a council document has revealed. The trial in Wickford aims to determine if


the closure could become permanent on Saturdays so the market could have more stalls. Officers at Basildon Council have recommended that the trial is given the go-ahead. The report presented to the Leisure,


Culture and Environment Committee reads: “As part of the regeneration of Wickford town centre undertaken over the past few years, there has been an aspiration from the outset to provide a regular market that would spread across the High Street and would attract additional footfall to the area, increasing economic benefits for the current retail as well as developing a more sustainable market. “In a discussion between members of


Essex County Council and ward members, a request has been received to close Wickford High Street on consecutive Saturdays for a four month trial period to facilitate the market.” Councillor Don Morris, of the Wickford


Castledon ward, said: “It will be closing two Saturdays before Christmas to see how it is received and if there is a desire to see it closed every Saturday, we will look at whether to continue it. “Currently the market is restricted in the number of stalls and there are also problems


on pavement areas where the market stalls are at present. “It would be a lot better to shut the High


Street which will allow us to facilitate more market stalls. “My impression from residents is it’s something they would like to see happen.” It is expected that council officers will work


with Essex County Council’s Highways team to draw up options on the most practical and economic way to implement the trial. It was noted in the report that in a previous assessment looking at four options, including the full pedestrianisation of the High Street, it was calculated that a budget of £117,800 would be required. However, this figure could be reduced


if the assessment focuses only on pedestrianisation on Saturdays.


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