Cheaper stall rental among North Norfolk District Council plans to boost street markets in Sheringham, Stalham and Cromer

Stalham Market pictured in 2012. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Stalham Market pictured in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
7:10 AM

Cheaper stall rents are among a new clutch of incentives aimed at boosting north Norfolk’s struggling street markets.

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North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has announced the measures in the hope that they will help regular traders and encourage new ones at the markets it manages in Sheringham, Cromer and Stalham.

In recent years all three have seen a fall in the number of market traders attending and, in Stalham’s case, there is now only one regular stallholder, selling burgers.

The council wants to try and ensure that traditional markets keep playing an important part in the economies of the three towns.

It plans to cut regular traders’ rents by 10pc, reduce charity stalls’ rent to £5 - with charities able to book up to 12 places a year - cut rates for new starters for the first eight weeks, offer gazebos to rent for new starters and charities, and boost market advertising.

In return, traders would be expected to get rid of their own waste, rather than relying on the council to collect it.

Rhodri Oliver, NNDC deputy leader, said: “Everyone loves to wander around a traditional market, whether they live locally or are on holiday.

“But traders have been having a tough time in recent years so we want to do all that we can to encourage more regular traders, which in turn will encourage more regular shoppers.”

But one prominent Stalham trader said the only real incentive which would boost high street and market trade would be free car parking.

Mike Hicks, whose Stalham Antique Gallery is opposite the town’s High Street market site, said the market had once been a thriving attraction, drawing people into Stalham from a wide area every Tuesday.

But the arrival of Tesco had sent it into a sharp decline because people were “corralled” in the store’s free car park at the other end of town, shopped in Tesco and left.

“The district council need to get the fundamentals right,” said Mr Hicks who has been in Stalham for 30 years.

“If you want to encourage people to shop in Stalham, you have got to have adequate, free parking.”

He also called for market stalls to be free, with traders selected by a market committee, and for a large sandwich board to be placed on the Stalham bypass on market days to entice people to visit.

“People would love to have a good market here,” he added. “It adds to the flavour and character of the place, but it needs promoting properly.”

■ What are your views on the county’s street markets? Write to: EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

7 comments

  • Mike Hicks is wrong about Tesco. It's the tat on the markets which is making people go elsewhere. People would walk to it if the stuff was good.

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    samphirelover

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Mike Hicks is spot-on but will he be listened to? Unlikely; after all, he is only a businessman and what could he possibly know?!?!

    Report this comment

    Dictate

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • What about North Walsham market? Poor relation as usuall nothing new there then ..

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • I travelled to kings lynn to visit the market last week, found the Tuesday market place, no market, made inquiries and was directed down a narrow lane where there was a couple of stalls, Norfolk was famous for its market towns lets bring them back to life..

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    gerry mitson

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • How about Yarmouth Market? How about lowering the rents on there as they are far too high. Mind you the way yarmouth is going the market will probably be moved out of town

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • samphirelover, people enjoy going to markets to find cheap bargains.

    Report this comment

    gerry mitson

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Stalham had one stall on Tuesday the tea stall

    Report this comment

    hope

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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