Plans to change the layout of a town market in a bid to increase footfall will be discussed tonight (Monday).
The regeneration of Wellingborough market has been an issue Wellingborough Council has been looking at for some time.
A market working group was set up in 2014, and last November, the group agreed that a market consultant would be employed to review and provide advice on a new layout for the market.
Following the consultant’s report, the working group agreed that the reduction and reconfiguration of stalls on Market Square and the creation of a larger events space was the best option.
The idea is to accommodate 50 stalls by relocating a number of these so they face the stalls nearer to Orient Way, retain the stalls that face the church and then create a new open air events space behind these stalls.
The new layout would see the number of stalls fall from 72 to 50, but it should accommodate all existing traders.
And if interest from traders increases, Orient Plaza would be the preferred option for overflow trading.
A report due to be discussed by members of the council’s services committee at a meeting tonight says: “It is hoped that these changes to regenerate the current market will increase the footfall and encourage more traders and therefore improve income for both traders and the council.”
The working group has proposed that changes to the market are made through a phased approach.
The first phase would be reconfiguration of the layout, which would take place by May this year.
Redevelopment of the larger open space, any changes to disabled parking and any further regeneration improvements, such as increasing stall numbers by using the area in Orient Plaza, would form part of a second phase to be considered at a later date.
A meeting with traders is due to take place today, with the traders’ comments reported at this evening’s meeting.
The committee will then be asked to approve the new market layout and support a capital bid for £32,000 to do it.
They will also be asked to approve the proposed phased implementation.
Wellingborough market is operated by Wellingborough Norse and trades on a Tuesday (bric-a-brac), Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7pm at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.