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Walsall markets in £110,000 profit boost

Walsall | News | Published:

A profit of almost £110,000 was made from markets in Walsall - with the main town centre offering covering losses at the other council run pitches, latest figures have revealed.

The cash raked in from the historic Walsall Market helped to make up a shortfall from both Willenhall and Bloxwich.

Overall the market service made a profit of £109,292 during the 2013/14 financial year.

Regeneration chief councillor Adrian Andrew said that despite making losses the two district centre pitches play an important role.

"They are incredibly important to Willenhall and Bloxwich, we want to try and support all markets as much as we can as they support the district centres."

Income from Willenhall was £62,310 with expenditure £87,994, in Bloxwich it was £58,128 and £66,035 respectively.

At Walsall Market the income was £625,308 and expenditure was £285,369.

The profit was reached after the running costs had been paid for the three sites.

It comes as steps are being taken to create a new-look £1.75 million Walsall Market, which dates back almost 800 years.

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Council chiefs recently agreed extra time to look at the scheme which could see it permanently based around The Bridge after a consultation with traders.

Fears were raised about the robustness of the demountable stalls and whether a back-to-back layout will work.

Under the plans, the market would have 70 stalls to reduce the amount that are currently vacant.

Figures have also shown that in Walsall the most popular day for traders on the five-day a week pitch was on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday with an average 82 per cent occupancy rate.

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The worst day was on Wednesday where there was an average of just 62 per cent.

At Willenhall which operates three days the most stalls were taken on Wednesday with 79 per cent taken up on average. The least popular was on Saturday from 65 per cent.

Then at Bloxwich which also runs three days, the main one for traders was on Friday with an average 71 per cent take up. The worst was Tuesday with just 41 per cent.

Prviate operators are also being sought to relaunch Darlaston Market. The council-run site in King Street and High Street was axed three years ago under moves to save £60,000.

The Darlaston Town Centre Partnership is seeking for an event to return.

Brownhills Market also collapsed in 2011 after private operators recruited to run stalls pulled the plug on the event.

The Thursday and Saturday Brownhills Market closed for good, just over six months after its relaunch.

It had been taken on by private firm LSD Promotions and initially attracted around 80 stalls. However, within months it was cut to one day a week as operators blamed falling numbers.

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