1,000 back bid to bring back Brownhills market
A campaign to bring back a town’s market for the first time in eight years has been backed by nearly 1,000 people.
Shoppers have launched a bid to have a market be re-instated in Brownhills – a request that will now be considered by Walsall Council leaders after a petition was handed in.
Previous attempts to relaunch a market in the town have ended in failure. The last Brownhills market closed in 2010 due to a lack of customers and traders.
That came after Walsall Council started a market in 2009 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, only for it to close 12 months later as it was haemorrhaging money.
However, there appears to be an appetite for a new market after a petition calling for one to return was signed by 927 people.
Brownhills councillor Ken Ferguson said he did not believe anything had changed that would make a new market a success this time around.
He said: “It would be nice to think it could work but from the last two occasions I really don’t think it would.
“I went to both of them and it wasn’t like what we used to have in Brownhills.
“I remember the original one and it was popular, people would come from everywhere to it.
“Unfortunately, the traders were given preferential rates and two occasions and as soon as that was up they handed back the keys.
“While it’s a nice idea I very much doubt it would be the same as what we used to have, I think those days have gone.”
Councillor Ferguson added: “The area where we used to have a market is now homes so I don’t know where we would hold such a venue.”
Walsall Council pulled the plug on the market in 2010 as there was a lack of traders and it was costing £57,000 a year to run.
LSD Promotions then had a go at making the market work on Thursdays and Saturdays but pulled out six months later.
A report on the market petition said: “A petition has been received containing a total of 927 signatures for consideration to bring back Brownhills Market.”
“Previously Brownhills Market was re-launched by the council in September 2009 and operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“Subsequently it closed again 12 months later in the summer of 2010 because it was attracting no traders and costing the council circa £1,100 a week (£57k per annum) to operate in relation to staff time, rates, electricity, water, cleansing etc.
“The previous market location along Silver Street has been sold to developers for housing to which the site is currently being developed.”