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Shoppers back market returning to Swindon town centre
SHOPPERS had their say on plans to set up a market in Swindon town centre during a public consultation event.
InSwindon, the town centre management firm, decided in October to cancel its weekly food market in Havelock Square after the council voted to enforce its ban on street trading there.
Then it called off its popular annual Christmas Market because Canal Walk, like much of the town centre, is a prohibited street.
Now Swindon Council’s licensing committee has launched a consultation on the idea of removing the ban in all or some streets in the town centre, with a condition limiting trading to specific times and dates, or to weekly or themed markets.
Yesterday, a consultation event was held in the foyer of the Central Library and about 40 people had already filled in the form within the first two hours. An identical event will be held today in the Brunel Centre from 10am to 5pm.
The options are a weekly general market, weekly food market, themed markets, Christmas market, and monthly car boot sale.
Potential sites are the old Post Office site off Fleming Way, The Parade, Canal Walk, Havelock Square, outside the Town Hall, Wharf Green, and Fleet Street/Bridge Street.
Andrew Sutcliffe, 38, of Haydon Wick, said he favoured a weekly farmers’ market, possibly stretching from Wharf Green, along Canal Walk and The Parade to the Fleming Way underpass.
He said: “I think a market is quite a good idea. I think the one that’s out of town [at the Swindon Designer Outlet] would be ideal to be put into the town centre, so you would have to alternate. One week it would be there and one week probably in the town centre.”
Resident John Stokes said he wanted a weekly food market in the Wharf Green area.
He said: “There always used to be one in that area years ago. I think it would be good generally for people coming into the town and doing their shopping in the town.”
And Caroline Valderay, of central Swindon, said she would prefer either a weekly food market or weekly general market in Wharf Green, which she believed would help bring back Swindon’s community feel.
She said: “I kind of feel that Swindon has lost its community feel a little bit. It’s got ever so big ever so quickly and I think a good market is something Swindon needs in the town centre. Start small and do it properly and it will build a reputation and people will come into Swindon to do their shopping.”
The consultation will run for 21 days from yesterday. The council has set up a Facebook page – Swindon Town Centre Market Consultation, – and comments can be emailed to licensing@ swindon.gov.uk, using the subject heading “Swindon Town Centre Market Consultation”.