Street market operation in Worcester to be reviewed
Councillors are set to review the way street markets will operate in Worcester's city centre in the future.
When Worcester City Council's Place and Economic Development Sub Committee meets on 29 October, councillors will examine the role street markets play in the city and how they can most effectively be managed when the current contract with LSD Promotions ends on 31 January 2021.
Councillors will consider the best operating arrangements for Worcester's weekend High Street markets, the Angel Place market and the Victorian Christmas Fayre market stalls. It is proposed that these three elements will be managed separately going forward.
The High Street will offer different types of specialist markets on weekends to draw in visitors to the city centre, but the focus of Angel Place will remain with the established traders and their loyal customer base. The Council's options for the future delivery of the Victorian Christmas Fayre will be considered in the New Year.
"The City Council has consulted extensively with residents, businesses and traders regarding the future of street markets in Worcester. It's clear that there is strong demand for markets which offer food, farmers' products, antiques and locally made items which can't be found in high street shops," says Cllr Adrian Gregson, Vice Chair of the City Council's Place and Economic Development Sub Committee.
"The decision we'll be taking isn't therefore about whether or not street markets have a future in Worcester; they do. It's about finding the most effective way of running them going forward."
The City Council has submitted a bid for £18m to the Government's Future High Streets Fund and if successful, Angel Place – along with surrounding areas including Angel Street, Foregate Street, St Nicholas Street, Trinity Street and Lower Broad Street – will undergo a major refurbishment. The proposals include making provision for established traders at Angel Place.
In 2019, Worcester's city centre had higher than average footfall and lower than average retail vacancy compared to other high streets across the UK. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour, footfall in September 2020 was around 70% of that in September 2019.