Up to £3million needed for Chesterfield market revamp

Chesterfield market.
Chesterfield market.
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Up to £3million is needed to help breathe new life into Chesterfield's historic outdoor market.

The major funding is being sought by Chesterfield Borough Council to make future improvements to the town institution - including possibly changing its layout.

In addition, the council is looking at making short-term changes to the outdoor market so it can thrive in the modern shopping world.

Some initial ideas include helping the traders make greater use of social media to promote their products and offering incentives to new stallholders.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, the council's cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said the authority was working with traders to develop the plans.

"The market is the heart of our town centre and we all want it to remain that way," she said.

"But all shopping environments have to move with the times to ensure they remain relevant in a world of online shopping and so I am really pleased that the traders have agreed to work with us on both short and long term plans to achieve that.

"Some of the key issues to address are around footfall around the market place area, the sight lines of individual stalls and weather protection to provide good trading conditions for our traders and their customers."

Last year the council carried out a public consultation giving residents a chance to have their say on the future of the outdoor market.

It also spent £15,000 on a consultant to investigate a possible redesign of the attraction and estimated costs. These have been put at between £900,000 and £3m, depending on the route taken.

Coun Serjeant added: "With the funding cuts the council is facing this is not something we can fund at the current time so we plan on working with the traders on options to seek grant funding or work into our medium to long term financial plans ways of identifying the money required.

"This will enable a viable and affordable plan to be developed that can then be delivered to achieve the ongoing improvements the traders and us want to see."

The news comes as the authority announced a freeze in charges for stallholders on the general, flea and farmers' markets to support existing traders and help attract new ones.