EXPRESSIONS of interest are being sought from prospective operators of street markets in nine County Durham towns.
Durham County Council officials say markets in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street, Consett, Crook, Seaham, Spennymoor, Stanhope and Stanley could be run by community groups, trade consortia or specialist market providers.
An information day will be held at County Hall, Durham, on Wednesday, July 31, to give interested parties the chance to find out more.
The event is part of the council’s Revitalising Markets Strategy, a bid to ensure markets are effectively managed and are given the opportunity to develop as part of wider town centre regeneration initiatives.
The Revitalising Markets Strategy was approved in January 2013. It aims to enhance the growth of our street markets to provide access to quality affordable food and other goods that can have a significant economic benefit for local market towns that promote and sustain enterprise and community.
The strategy’s key themes illustrate how our markets should function and what they should look like in order to grow in a sustainable fashion and to best support town centre economies.
We have already carried out a soft market testing exercise and consultation with users and traders of our markets.
We are now offering the opportunity for prospective market operators to enter into an agreement with the County Council for each of our markets in the following towns.
All nine markets will be available to prospective operators. We will not batch markets together and bidders have the opportunity to bid for the management of more than one market. Prospective bids will be assessed against the key themes of the strategy.
We are seeking expressions of interest from a range of providers including community groups, trade consortia, and specialist market providers with a view to entering into medium to long term contracts. The contracts will be for an initial period of five years with the option to end after three years. The aim is to improve the overall retail offer that markets can bring to our town centres.
If you are interested and are not yet registered on the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) portal, we recommend you do this as soon as possible. Registration is free. The NEPO portal will be the only way that you can access any of the documents associated with these agreements. Full instructions for registering are available at the NEPO portal.
To assist prospective partner organisations, we will be holding a supplier day on Wednesday 31 July at County Hall, Durham from 9.30am. This will give people the opportunity to discuss the process with officers from our Environment, Health and Consumer Protection and Procurement teams.
To confirm your attendance at this event, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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