Soft launch of Colchester’s new High Street market
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A new Charter Market in Colchester High Street had its soft launch today.
Traders and customers got to grips with their new stalls for the first time as the new market prepares to open on Fridays and Saturdays.
The market, which used to be in Long Wyre Street, is being officially opened on Saturday April 18 with a grand launch event.
Anne Turrell, Colchester borough councillor for economic development and regeneration, said: “I am delighted to see the market back on the High Street, the new stalls look absolutely fantastic.
“We know the people have wanted to see the market back on the High Street for a long time and I am proud that we have made it happen.
“I’d like to encourage residents, visitors and local businesses to pop along and see for themselves the traders in their new set up on Fridays and Saturdays.
“They should also join us for the grand launch event so we can really celebrate the market having a new home Colchester can be proud of.”
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The new stalls are bigger, branded, and have an electricity supply along with side streets and awnings, as well as having a specialised waste management service.
A dedicated markets & street trading manager post has been created at the borough council, and the authority is also running an ongoing marketing campaign to encourage people to visit the new facility.
The new market plans caused controversy when street traders in Culver Street West were told they would no longer be able to use their pitches on the same days as the High Street market as it would breach the terms of the historic charter, raising fears their businesses would be unable to survive.
An extraordinary meeting of Colchester Borough Council was called by Conservative councillors in a bid to force debate on the issue.
However the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, was cancelled after positive talks between Mrs Turrell and the street traders.
Negotiations about the future of the street traders, which are separate to the market, are ongoing.