Bridgnorth town councillors drop extra market day plan due to 'nil response'

Proposals for a town to operate an extra market day in the run up to Christmas have been dropped – due to a lack of interest from traders.

Bridgnorth town centre
Bridgnorth town centre

Bridgnorth Town Council had explored options for allowing stallholders an additional day for the area under the town hall on Wednesdays from next week.

But at a full council meeting on Tuesday members were told that none of the existing traders had replied to a letter sent to them individually asking for their views about the suggestion.

Under the pilot scheme an additional market day may have run for nine weeks in an effort to boost trading.

Town clerk Lee Jakeman told the full council: "There has been nil response from traders.

"No-one has replied with a comment. I wrote to them all individually.

"They have had two weeks of operating to consider it. Nobody has submitted anything."

Castle ward representative Councillor Geoff Davies said previous issues with distancing in the street had been sorted out.

"There was a suggestion that we could put on the market on a Wednesday, but it may be one day too much to have the market running on Fridays, Saturdays and Wednesdays," Councillor Davies said.

'We should reject the idea'

Bridgnorth East ward representative Ron Whittle added: "In view of the lack of reaction, I agree we should reject the idea."

The councillors agreed to throw out the proposal at the virtual meeting.

The full council also heard the town had successfully attracted a £20,000 grant through the Shropshire Market Towns Fund to help cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Jakeman said: "You may recall that we were successful in getting some funding.

"A significant amount of money is spent on staff wages to marshall the Saturday market.

"We are also doing some work to smarten up the street furniture in the town.

'The theatre industry has had its knees cut'

"We have agreed to fund the Theatre on the Steps Ghost Walk video. They have had £1,000, which may seem like a high amount.

"The theatre industry of all businesses has had its knees cut. The money will promote the group by helping to raise it's profile.

"Helping them is a pretty the decent thing to do.

"You can do the Ghost Walk video at any time of the year now."

Mr Jakeman said the council had also provided a marquee put up in the town centre to support Shropshire Council's touring efforts to communicate with businesses about coronavirus procedures and initiatives.

Other activities included £1,200 towards publicity of the town's Let's Get Local Christmas shopping initiative; £450 for the Pumpkin Trail and discussions with bodies Bridgnorth Chamber of Trade, Come2lowtown and Love Bridgnorth over future high street projects.

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