A SOUTH Yorkshire market is bucking the national trend by reporting high levels of demand from traders for its stalls.
Latest figures show all 300-plus stalls in Barnsley’s market halls and semi-open market, off Cheapside, are fully let.
The latest business to move in, selling children’s jewellery, hair accessories and fairy wings, is putting the finishing touches to a two-unit retail space at the top side of the semi-open market, adjacent to the coach parking area.
The market, first established 700 years ago, is attracting 300,000 visitors a month.
And the open market is performing at its strongest for several years, with nine out of 10 stalls on the Tuesday secondhand market occupied by sellers.
The Saturday general market also reflects the town’s buoyant trading conditions, with 85 per cent of stalls let to traders.
Anne Untisz, Barnsley Council town centre services manager, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries for open market stalls and for vacant shop units in the Metropolitan Centre.
“Eight prospective new businesses have approached us to try to secure new premises in Barnsley town centre.”
Coun Linda Burgess, council cabinet spokeswoman for development, environment and culture, said: “The market provides an ideal place for new businesses to gain experience.
“Let’s not forget many of our large national companies, such as M&S, once started from a market stall. Who knows, maybe the next multi-national will have its birthplace on Barnsley Market.”