Fresh drive to get more shoppers to visit Norwich Market
- Credit: Archant
Getting empty stalls filled and providing more variety to shoppers are two goals of a new association formed to help Norwich Market fulfil its potential.
Traders on the historic market have resurrected the Norwich Market Traders' Association to help push for improvements to be made to a city institution which dates back more than 900 years.
And they urged shoppers to head for the market this weekend to take part in a string of activities there as part of a national two-week long Love Your Market campaign.
Norwich City Council recently held a consultation on a new 10-year strategy for Norwich Market, following a survey last year which asked the public for their views.
In that strategy, the council acknowledged there was a 'need for change' to address problems with the market, including that about a third of stalls are currently empty.
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The report stated: 'Without some action then Norwich market will become a burden to the council and will result in the council subsidising its existence.
'Evidence across the country has shown with investing some resource into improving the market, then, sustainability becomes a reality.
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'A return on the investment will happen, the length of time of this depending upon the amount and type of resource provided.'
The launch of the strategy saw the revival of the Norwich Market Traders' Association. Its new chairman Mark Wright, who runs Taxi Vintage on the market's back row, says the committee is already helping get improvements made.
He said: 'After six years of trading I believe the market to be the beating heart of Norwich and the height of al- fresco shopping. In short I love it.
'The reason I got involved with the association was because of the 10-year strategy. The council asked us to form a committee and we hope to work hand in hand with them to revive the market.
'We are hoping to fill the empty stalls and we've come up with various suggestions. We want to see a bit more variety.
'One thing which has already happened is the market has had a clean and it looks much better. We want the council to keep it clean.'
Mr Wright said he hoped the campaign would attract more people to visit the market.
He said: 'It's a fantastic place to start up a business and it's a great place to shop. I buy all my meat on the market, because it's organic and they're butchers who know what they are doing.
'There's stalls like Cary's flowers and Snelling's fishmongers, which have had the stalls in the family for years. Where else can you get that sort of knowledge? There's tons to offer to shoppers here.'
Paul Kendrick, Norwich City Council cabinet member for Norwich Market, said: 'Love Your Local Market fortnight is about drawing attention to the gem of our market – in fact it's a treasure trove of gems, 73 of them to be precise.
'Not only is it a great and totally different shopping experience with all its local produce, services, and characters but it's also a great place to run a business or test a business idea.
'If you've never stepped foot on the market before I would encourage you to do so in the next two weeks, you'll be amazed at what you might find.'
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