Mansfield market traders and shoppers have mixed views on £100k investment plans

Mansfield Market Place.
Mansfield Market Place.

Mansfield market traders and town centre shoppers have expressed their opinions over a £100,000 investment plan for the market.

Mansfield District Council is proposing to re-structure the market and give it a new lease of life.

Steve Louth works on a pet stall in Mansfield market place

Steve Louth works on a pet stall in Mansfield market place

But many have also expressed concerns over several different items in the proposals, which were released in a report on the Mansfield District Council website last week.

Click here to see the article which outlines the plans.

Here’s what some of the traders had to say:

Ian Hibbert, works on I W Hibbert Fruit and Veg, which has been on the market for almost 70 years. He said the changes might not be so bad, but is unhappy about the way the consultation has worked out.

Marq Page runs the hot peas and shellfish food stall on Mansfield market

Marq Page runs the hot peas and shellfish food stall on Mansfield market

Ian said: “The report actually has some good ideas - as well as bad ideas - but that’s why we are having this consultation. However, we knew nothing about it until last week it seems a very under-handed way of doing things. We are all supposed to be in this together, the traders, the council, the shops and the chamber of trade.”

Chaddah Bridge, has run a clothes stall for 34 years and is worried about his livelihood if the market is closed on Mondays.

Chaddah said: “We don’t want to close the market on a Monday, we need it open. It’s my living they’re taking away. I have been here for almost 35 years and this is all I can do - if they close it I will end up on the dole. And let’s stay where we are. If you change things, people won’t come. They don’t like change in the market.”

Jaswant Singh has only been trading tobacco products and e-cigarettes for eight months, and is still undecided on the plans.

Jaswant said: “In one way, the plans are bad. But in another way, it might bring more people in. I’m not keen on the prices going up, but if they can use it to bring more customers to the market then it might make a difference. We’re just going have to see how it goes.”

Steve Louth, has run a pet stall for 30 years, and thinks the proposals are a ‘waste of money’.

Steve said: “I just cannot understand why they are spending £100,000 on new stalls when there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these. All the market traders are happy with these... it’s just a waste of money. I think the market needs jigging about a bit, but otherwise, things are fine.”

Marq Page, who has the hot peas and shellfish food stall, is generally pleased with the plans for the food area, but understands the stallholders’ concerns.

Marq said: “There are some good ideas in the plans and I agree the market needs to be in a better place.But I understand the views of the people on Westgate who want to stay where they are.

“I think the £10,000 budget for the seating area is a bit steep, it seems a lot of money just for some tables and chairs. But we do get people sat here all day for long periods of time so it will benefit the food area.”

Nigel Staniland, owner of the jacket potato food stand, said: “I think Mansfield needs the change - we need to breathe some new life into the market. At the moment, it’s dying on it’s feet. There are a lot of empty stalls and people are just using it because there’s nothing here.

“And I like the food plans. We need New tables, chairs and possibly gazebos, so the public can eat in all weathers.”

We also asked some of the shoppers what they thought to the current market and what it might need to improve.

Here’s what they had to say;

Kathleen Colin, from Mansfield, said: “We don’t shop here that often anymore. Years ago we always used to, but now there’s not a lot on the market, we don’t come down so much. You used to be able to come on the market and get everything you needed. But now, people have moved off and nobody bothers with it anymore.”

Christine McFarlane, from Mansfield, said the lack of choice is what drives people away from the market.

She said: “There’s hardly anything here - this market needs more choice. I think it’s because the rent has gone up and people can’t make a living out of it anymore.

“Cheaper town centre parking might also help to bring people in to visit the market.”

Sam Spencer, from Mansfield, said: “The market is not bad, but I don’t do a lot of shopping here because the supermarkets have more choice.

“I don’t think it needs doing-up because it was only done a few years ago, but what it needs is the stalls to be re-arranged. They should all be in rows and similar stalls should be grouped together, with wider aisles and a big space for all the food and catering stands.”

Rachel Sykes, from Bull Farm, said: “The market is absolutely rubbish at the moment. It needs to be how it was years ago, when there was a proper market. There’s never anything on it, all we want is stalls with things on them.

“I think they should let new people have a stall with cheap rent for a while to see if it takes off for them. And it all needs to be together somewhere where people can actually visit it - at the moment you could walk around it and miss it.”