Market under microscope

PUBLISHED: 13:54 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

A WORKING group may be set up to examine plans to improve Royston market. The initiative is suggested in a report to Cabinet members of North Herts District Council after a review of the market set-up. It says that a working group involving traders, counc

A WORKING group may be set up to examine plans to improve Royston market.

The initiative is suggested in a report to Cabinet members of North Herts District Council after a review of the market set-up.

It says that a working group involving traders, council officers, the Royston town centre manager, and a member of the Royston area committee should undertake a wide-ranging study of the market.

The suggestions came after a group of councillors on the scrutiny committee had looked at the usage and promotion of markets across the district.

In the report, the group pointed out that although Royston market had a potential capacity of 60 stalls, less than half was being occupied.

The market, says the report, tends to empty at about 3pm leaving only a few "die-hard" traders until after 4pm on a Wednesday and Saturday.

One reason for this is the fact that no outlying bus services run into Royston after 2.50pm.

Traders raised a number of points when meeting the group in March.

- the need for specialised stalls

- incentives for attracting new traders

- supplying mobile stalls for new traders

- car park discounts on market days

- having charity stalls

- policing the market all day

The traders, too, raised concern about the impact Tesco was having on trade.

In an analysis, the strengths were seen as the market being small enough to be personal for the customer, and being busier in good weather and schools holidays.

But one of the threats identified was the fact that the high rental for the site made the profit margin minimal for traders.

- What improvements need to be made to Royston market?

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