THE search is on for a new market operator in Manningtree after complaints that there are not enough stalls at the site.

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Tendring District Council (TDC) said it has been unable to resolve “a number of issues with the existing arrangement” and has decided to end the licence of the current operator in January.

The market has a capacity for around 16 stalls and runs on a Friday and Saturday on Market Square each week.

Peter Halliday, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets, said that it has been decided to put an end to the current arrangements.

“We fully support Manningtree Market and believe it has a bright future but need to look to make improvements to boost the offer,” he said.

“We are starting a process which will involve consulting with our partners – such as Manningtree Town Council, which has asked to be involved in any future plans for the site.

“We hope that a new operator will come forward quickly but we are preparing plans so that the market can continue in the interim. “The Town Council will be invited to contribute any views and suggestions as part of the process of seeking or choosing a new operator.”

Mr Halliday said the council is aware of the importance of markets to local communities and town centres.

“TDC wants to see Manningtree Market go from strength to strength – I believe there has been a market in the town since the 1600’s,” he added.

“I would urge anyone with a proposal to run the operation to come forward and speak to us as part of our efforts to move forward.”

The current operator has had a licence from the council for about five years and has been informed of the council’s decision to end the agreement.

Anyone wanting more information or wanting to submit a proposal for consideration should contact Andy White, TDC’s Assets Manager, on 01255 686933.

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