A brand new weekly market could be introduced to Chichester’s city centre.
Leading councillors at Chichester District Council will consider proposals for a ‘new quality market’ when they meet on Tuesday, December 1.
The cabinet will then make their recommendation, which will be considered by the full council on December 15.
It is proposed that a new market which ‘complements the historic city’ should be introduced on a trial basis in North Street and East Street in Chichester every Wednesday, following a detailed assessment carried out by councillors and officers.
It follows a detailed assessment by councillors and officers into proposals to move the existing traders market on Saturdays from the Cattle Market car park to the town centre.
According to Chichester District Council, the majority of businesses were against the struggling traders market moving to the city centre, and it will remain in its current location on Saturdays during the trial period.
“We decided to look at this project following the decline of the traders market in the Cattle Market car park,” said Cllr Gillian Keegan, cabinet member for commercial services at Chichester District Council.
“We obviously want Chichester to continue to have a market, but we know that the existing traders market is struggling.
“This has given us the chance to start from scratch and look at what is right for our beautiful city and to consider introducing a new market that will benefit residents, the city and local businesses.
“Key to this is that Chichester remains vibrant and attractive and that we encourage more people to visit and shop in the city.
“Following a detailed assessment of all of the options, we are proposing that we introduce a new market selling quality goods that will encourage more shoppers to visit the city centre.
“This will be a new approach, with quality controls and high standards to fit within the city’s historic environment.
“We carried out consultation with residents, traders and businesses. Overall, people still want a market in Chichester.
“The majority of businesses were against the existing traders market moving to the city centre, but they were in favour of the Farmers Market, Christmas Market and Summer Market, which are all held in the city centre.
“When looking at the results in detail, from all of those who took part in the consultation, it is clear that if we introduce a new market, it needs to be something that will fit within its new environment and is something that reflects the character of our city.”
Cllr Keegan pointed to the success of Winchester introducing a city centre market which had injected £8.5m into its economy.
Andrew Finnamore, chairman of the Chichester Business Improvement District, added: “Chichester BID is in full support of the efforts being made by Chichester District Council to protect and enhance specialist shopping in the heart of our city.
“This one-year trial, when properly managed, will reinforce our Market City status. When combined with the popularity of the existing offer in culture and heritage, and the Chichester Vision Project in full swing, we have reasons to be optimistic in our future.”
If the Cabinet approves the proposals, the new market is expected to be introduced from April 1, 2016 and will be reviewed after a year.
The Farmers Market, Christmas Market and Summer Market would operate in the same way under the new proposals.
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