Market Working Group
The Service Manager (Theatre & Customer Services) gave an update to the Committee on the first meeting of the Market Working Group.
In the summer of last year, the findings of the Market consultation were shared with the Committee and an agreement was made to create a Member working group to review the full results, discuss the future of the Market and create a Strategy to guide its development.
The findings of the meetings were supposed to be reported back to this Committee meeting however there were circumstances which prevented that; the first meeting only took place a few weeks ago and the second meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, 11 February 2020.
The first meeting discussed what Members wanted to see compared with what the public wanted to see and there was a general agreement that the street food offerings and special events were the most popular part of the market.
Additionally, it was noted that the current opening times may have hindered footfall so later opening times will be investigated to allow families and young people to access the street food stalls after school and in the early evening.
The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) assured the Committee that the group’s findings and draft Market Strategy will be submitted to the next Committee meeting in March.
The LCSA participants were invited to share their views on the Market and how it could be made more appealing to the younger generation.
The LCSA participants outlined the following key points:
· The street food stalls have the current biggest appeal to young people and the offering needs to be expanded further
· The weekday and weekend opening times need to be extended to allow young people to access it afterschool and later on weekends
· There needs to be more of a consistent approach with the stalls so that they were there every week and more variety with the independent stalls to provide a better offering
In response to the points the made, the Assistant Director (Communities) and the Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) explained that:
· Sunday trading times have to be adhered too but the later opening times for weekdays and Saturday will be reviewed at the Market Working Group meetings and fed into the Market Strategy
· Originally there was an outdoor market in the Market car park however that no longer takes place due to the development that will be carried out by Reef over the next three years
· Plans for regeneration of the Eastern and Western quarters can be shared with the participants to show what is planned for the sites. The open air car park will be replaced by a car park structure
· There is not enough daily footfall for traders to maintain all the permanent stalls and the pop up stalls only attend the Market during specified events such as the Vegan Market Day. The Council are actively seeking to fill the vacancies within the Market; the direction of the Market will be laid out within the Market Strategy which should help with filling the empty spaces
The Vice-Chair requested that the Committee formally invite the LCSA participants to the meeting of Community & Leisure on Tuesday, 03 March 2020 to further discuss the Market Strategy item.
However, the Chair explained that it would be more beneficial to hold a separate meeting with the LCSA participants, before the next Committee meeting, dedicated solely to listening to their views on the Market so that they could be incorporated into the Market Strategy.
The Chair advised the Committee that a GO TRADE supported Youth Enterprise Event had been scheduled for Friday, 21 February 2020 from 10:00am-16:00pm in the Market and invited all of the LCSA participants to attend as it would give them an insight into business ventures and support anyone thinking about pursuing business interests.
Kieran Everson claimed that many people his age would be very keen to attend the Youth Enterprise Event and suggested that assemblies be held with the Secondary Schools in the Borough to advice young people of the opportunity.
The Chair advised that the idea would be fed back to the Senior Economic Development Officer.