Mansfield District Council made a delegated decision to spend £100,000 of the Mayor’s Economic Stimulus Funding on transforming Mansfield Market.
Councillor Stewart Rickersey, portfolio holder for corporate services made the decision for improvements for the long term sustainability of the historic market.
He said: “Doing nothing is not an option, neither is doing more of the same.
“We want to put Mansfield Market back at the heart of the town centre and bring more traders and customers to the market place.”
The project will be fully implemented by April 2016 and will include:
•Purchasing new stalls, canopies, signage and trader name boards
•Improving signage and interpretation in and around the Market Place
•Encouraging new business to the market
•Creating incubation space for new and first time traders
•Using the market square for themed and seasonal events
•Locating of all stalls to Market Place
•Reviewing the terms of trading for stallholders including a new pricing structure for pitches
•Introducing branded workwear and name badges for traders
•A dedicated promotions to attract shoppers
The report was devised following a second phase of research comparing Mansfield with 29 market towns across the UK.
Research showed product gaps which the transformation project will look to fill by encouraging new stallholders and product lines with a business incubation scheme where 20 cost-free stalls will be available for new and first-time traders for 12 months.
New stalls will be dressed with canopies and stallholders will also be issued with free branded workwear and name badges. Traders will also have access to promotional posters on a daily basis from the market team.
At the heart of the project is an aim to increase trade, encourage more shoppers and provide a bustling atmosphere in the town centre. This will be supported by a programme of themed events, specialist markets and a year-long programme of entertainment.
At the Delegated Decision meeting Councillor Rickersey answered questions on various issues including the increase in rates and charges for stall holders.
He said: “From April 2016 the price of stalls will increase, but traders will be able to stand on Mansfield Market from as little as £6 per day.
“The most any market trader will pay is £26 per stall per day for a premium location. We still think this demonstrates good value for money. Market fees and charges have not been increased for a decade.”
More work is being done to develop a discount and incentive structure so that long standing market traders are eased into the new fees.
He added: “We want our customers to have a positive experience when they shop at Mansfield Market, from the quality and variety of products to the ambience of the Market Place. We will also look to introduce enhanced public order measures to create a welcoming, safe and enjoyable environment.”