Ref: PR 4652
A decision on whether or not to relocate Wakefield's outdoor market will be made at a Council Cabinet meeting next week (July 29).
The report for the Cabinet proposes relocating the current outdoor market to the precinct outside the Cathedral following feedback from traders about an increase in takings when they've run stalls at that location. The report also proposes a fund be established to help traders with any changes.
If the move is approved, the site of the current market would be sold so that a new cinema and restaurants can be developed, following feedback from a consultation exercise which showed good levels of support for the proposal.
Councillor Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: "We are confident that these proposals will result in better markets – both indoor and outdoor – which will contribute positively to a vibrant and thriving city centre.
"The new outdoor market on the precinct by the Cathedral would create a vital link between The Ridings and Trinity Walk. When we carried out a trial market on the precinct some traders reported their takings being up by 50%, so we know this site has great potential.
"The proposed redevelopment of the current market site would also bring significant investment into the city, and the research shows that people would be more likely to come into the city centre if a new cinema and restaurants were developed.
"We are continuing our discussions with market traders to ensure they are listened to and supported during this process, but believe selling the current site provides the right solution for the people of the city."
The report includes the results of public consultations*on the proposals to move the market and highlights include:
- Wakefield's market is the only one in the district making a loss, which is currently £193,000 each year
- 45% of those surveyed supported the proposals as a whole
- 39% of those surveyed said, if the market moved, they would be more likely to come into the city centre during the day and 28% would be more likely to come on an evening
- The council has engaged with 80% of the existing traders
- The idea of relocating market traders to vacant retail units was also popular among the public with 49% liking the idea (24% disliking it)
- The only major issue raised by traders was linked to storage and it is likely that a number of options could be made available for those traders to consider
The report and its recommendations will be discussed by Wakefield Council's Cabinet on 29 July 2014.