Major investment could be in the pipeline to boost Rotherham’s indoor and outdoor markets
Both Rotherham’s indoor and outdoor markets are “having a challenging time”, the council leader has revealed, with improvement work now being planned which could take up “a significant chunk” of the cash earmarked for town centre redevelopment work.
Coun Chris Read told colleagues work was now being undertaken in an attempt to improve the situation, though offered no further detail beyond the fact it could potentially soak up a substantial amount of the money set aside to improve the shopping area.
He said: “The indoor and outdoor market are having a challenging time.
“There is a piece of work being done around the investment we need to make in that market.”
Potentially, he said, “Involving a significant chunk of our town centre investment.”
Coun Read was responding to a question from Coun Alan Cowles, who asked whether Rotherham had considered introducing a new market, such as a Sunday food market which had proved a spectacular success in Altringham.
It has attracted national attention because of its success in drawing visitors back into the town centre and has been credited with helping to re-invigorate the high street, with the idea now repeated in Macclesfield.
Coun Read said such an expansion would be unlikely until more immediate improvement work had been done.
“I don’t think until that point we will be up to look at a market expansion. Perhaps in two or three years’ time,” he said.
In neighbouring Barnsley the council has put its market at the heart of the new Glass Works development in the town centre, underlining the importance of stallholders as part of the complete town centre, with a meat and fish market which now has an entrance straight off the main pedestrianised area.
For decades, it was hidden behind the frontages of shops.