Vision for Holt to hold weekly outdoor market set to become reality

The first of several plans outlined in Holt's Vision strategy is set to become a reality after plans to introduce a new weekly market to the town were revealed.

But the proposals have been met with some misgivings as organisers of a well-established indoor market fear the extra stalls could have an impact on their footfall by drawing business away.

A committee made up of town councillors and members of local groups has been tasked with driving forward the improvement projects highlighted in the �30,000 Vision study, and is now pushing ahead with one of the master plan's recommendations to introduce a weekly market.

A bid has been made to the district council's Big Society Fund for start up costs to help kick start the market, which will be run in Fish Hill on Fridays. It is initially intended to run for a trial period through July and August.

But concerns have been raised that it will clash with the Friday country market, which has been selling fruit, veg and crafts at St Andrew's Church hall for 35 years.

Ann Green, chairman of the country market, said: 'We fear because of our site that we'll lose out on a Friday and like everybody else our business hasn't been as good as it was a few years ago. We're not against them doing it but we have suggested could they not do it on a different day.'

But those behind the plans think the two markets could complement each other as another scheme within the Vision - to use the car park at Gresham's pre-prep school in the Market Place for public parking throughout the summer - could draw visitors to St Andrew's Hall.

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Bryan Payne, Holt mayor, thought the country market organisers were 'worrying unnecessarily' and said: 'If people are parking in Gresham's they're going to walk past the front door of the church hall.'

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