Tuesday November 29, 2011, Buntingford and Royston News, By Ciaran Gold
BUNTINGFORD’S historic market could be improved by moving the day, the location and advertising it more, say traders.
Recent years have seen a decline in the number of people and traders coming to the market.
Action needs to be taken if the more than 500-year-old market is to survive, the current stallholders feel.
Fruit and vegetable trader Alan Kerr has been at the market for 10 years. He said: “It’s very difficult because the way people have shopped has changed. People are now working during the day and people have been shopping over the weekend.”
“It’s also getting the stalls here. They come here, stay for two weeks and go. But what they can change I don’t know. We are down everywhere we go – it’s the way things are now,” but added not much had changed since he started coming to the town a decade ago.
Jeff Read, who has run the pet food stall for more than two years, said: “They should advertise out of the area and maybe provide a market bus for people to come from the villages as it’s an aging population here. There needs to be more advertising there is a market here on a Monday.”
Paul Brown has had a presence on Market Hill for 16 years with his card stall.
“In four weeks I’m packing it in,” he said. “In Saffron Walden I make 10 times that I do here. You don’t get the footfall – its just died. The car park [charges] made a big difference and so did the parking changes on the street.”
Mr Brown felt relocating the market onto the High Street might help it to grow as the shops and the market could benefit from each other.
He added: “The market game is finished anyway. Some days it’s just four stalls here,” explaining he had moved a lot of his business online.
Clothes trader Lionel Smith felt the town as whole, rather than just the market, needed to offer more to entice people.
“You’ve got to have your large stores here but I don’t think the town is geared up for it. It’s in a bit of a time warp.”
It has been suggested that if traders were given passes to park elsewhere the market’s image could be cleaned up and there would room for more stalls.
Read the full article HERE
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