Traders in Louth have said the market is an “asset’ to the town, but agree more needs to be done to keep it alive.
East Lindsey District Council is set to look at how it can make markets across the district more sustainable at a meeting next Tuesday.
Recommendations include creating a five-year plan, further investments, employing a supervisor to enforce regulations and changes to payment systems as well as creating new initiatives to encourage young people and addressing anti-social behaviour concerns.
One trader group has said that if Louth market were to cease, 20% of the businesses in the town would fail– and many traders seem to agree.
The market’s busiest day, they say is Wednesday, with Fridays and Saturdays tailing off – particularly as people go out-of-town for their weekend shops.
Karene Leonnard has been on the market for four years.
She said: “Other Markets haven’t seen the interest taken as they should and it’s just died.
“We’ve got a great selection and character here and if the market goes where do people come?
“They want variety, they like the one-to-one, they like the fact they can touch and look and ask questions. We all have to work together.
“It’s a beautiful market town, its important that the market stays because it helps the traders but also it’s a great asset to the retailers because you’ve got people coming to see all the interesting things here.”
She said sheets which act as coverings needed to be more secure and agreed with the suggestion of a supervisor to welcome traders.
Cheryl Metcalfe, manageress at the nearby Tina’s cafe, said takings increased by almost 50% on market days – however, she said Friday and Saturday markets were still quiet.
She said: “It’s a shame on Saturday because half the stalls are empty. It doesn’t look very attractive.”
She said the market needed a larger variety of traders to attract people.
Kevin Smith, has been a market trader at Louth for 40 years, and said it was about keeping the traders on side.
He said the council could do more to help – including collecting rubbish at the end of the day – and warned of the dangers of out-of-town shopping centres.
Alistair Bourne, who has only been on the market for six weeks, said the market had been “great”.
“I couldn’t think of any other way of selling because I’m not good online, I’m not good at computers. But I wanted to get my name out to the town really and hopefully a bit further.”
Gary Denniss, who chairs the Louth Independent Traders said: “Predominantly you’ve got your cafes and coffee shops which are all well-served by the Markets, they are the ones which would suffer first but as a town we all feed off the people who come to the market so it’s an integral part of the town and it’s the identity of the town as well.
“If we were to lose the market people would not come here.”
He said he was working with ELDC to improve the market including trying to entice younger stall holders.
He added that a Christmas Market, set to take place on December 2, would “showcase” how successful it could be – and was fully booked.
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