Council sets out plan for ‘phased reopening’ of market
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A Norfolk market has set out its road map for how it will gradually add more stalls to its much loved event.
Swaffham Market, which is run by Swaffham Town Council, has been open for essential items such as meat, fruit and vegetables along with plants since May 2.
Now, the town council is planning a phased reopening, which will see 10 stalls returning to the market over the next three weeks.
It comes as eased lockdown restrictions mean more businesses will soon be able to open their doors.
Auctioneer and district councillor Fabian Eagle, speaking at a virtual town council meeting of its market, events and tourism committee on June 1, said: “It’s now not just the market that is open, we need to consider the other shops that have now re-opened since restrictions were lifted.
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“We have moved the layout, taking into account which way people are going to queue and social distancing while also making sure people have room to walk through the market and browse.”
June 6 will see the return of the burger van, three plant stalls, a watch stall, popcorn stall and ‘the sock man’.
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June 13 will see the return of the tool stall and ice cream van while June 20 will welcome back the bric-a-brac stalls.
Mr Eagle said: “We think a phased reopening will mean we can better manage who is coming back.
“We will continue with the one way system and we have now moved all the plant stalls so they surround the war memorial, freeing more space at the main market site and allowing people to move.
“It also means if the plant stalls get too busy and we have to shut them down, it won’t affect the main market.”
In the meeting, deputy town clerk Claire Smith announced the town council had been approached by the Cabinet Office asking them to be involved in a video on its social media page.
The video is being made to reassure the public that open air markets are safe and to show the advantages of them.
Lindsay Beech, one of the town councillors, said: “That is absolutely fantastic, what great news for Swaffham market.”
Mr Eagle said: “Swaffham is the best market in Norfolk and also the safest.”