July 28 2014 Latest news:
Will Lodge and Matt Hunter
Monday, June 23, 2014
A regular market could return to Colchester High Street under proposals before senior councillors.
The Colchester Borough Council (CBC) plans would see the current market in Culver Street East and West move into a single location.
If approved the new-look market would begin from Spring 2015 as well as on Sundays every other months and possibly an evening market four times a year.
The council’s cabinet is set to debate the plans at a meeting on Wednesday evening.
The authority is set to pledge £95,000 from the New Homes Bonus to fund new stalls, electricity points and other costs associated in moving the existing market.
There will also be the possiblity of adding a second market day on Thursdays each week after three years if the move proves successful.
It is hoped a revamped market will bring more people to the town centre for both traders and existing businesses, while allowing new firms and entrepreneurs the chance to expand their business at a relatively low cost.
If successful it could also lead to increased income for the council.
Although there are no detailed traffic plans in the report, it does state stalls could go into existing bays along the High Street with traffic only impacted during stall set-up and take-down times.
Martin Hunt, CBC leader, said: “It seems from what is being said that people are receiving it very well, traders are happy with the idea.
“I think it will be a good thing and bring in some changes that people are asking for to the town centre.
“I am hopeful it will bring a boost to the market and to the shops as well.”
Mr Hunt added the council had looked at other markets in Bury St Edmunds and Norwich to see “best practice” and with the introduction of the town’s park and ride there were likely to be changes to the existing traffic management in the High Street.
He said he believed the last time Colchester had a single market was about 20 years ago.