PLEAS for a market of some kind to return to Swindon town centre are set to be answered in the spring.

inSwindon BID has announced it is launching a regular street market at Wharf Green in April.

The move follows calls for something to replace the Tented Market, which closed in summer 2017 after 23 years and is expected to be replaced by flats and a retail complex. 

On Thursdays and Saturdays local business owners will be able to sell their wares at a retail market, while on the third Friday of every month there will be a farmers and fine food market.

It will have up to 45 stalls, with some regulars and others on rotation.

Executive director of the organisation Anita Bellinger said “We’re delighted to be bringing markets back to Swindon town centre. We know there’s a great and long-awaited demand from residents and local businesses.

“There will be a wide range of stalls, including new ones that haven’t run in other locations, so Swindon will have a completely fresh offer.”

She explained: “Along with other work we’re doing, it will help to attract shoppers from Swindon and further afield, which will be fantastic for local businesses.”

The market is being funded by the Towns Fund Board which is backing a number of other projects to rejuvenate the town, including the renovation of the Health Hydro in Milton Road.

All are being paid for from a £20 million pot, with £100,000 of the government fund used to provide the market. 

It is hoped that it will increase footfall in the centre, stimulate the local economy and create jobs all while helping new and small businesses to grow.

Anita said: “Wharf Green is the perfect site. It’s easily accessible and the markets will be just one of the regular activities we’ll have happening there.

"Future expansion could include a monthly arts and crafts market, plus the opportunity for food festivals, night markets and a Victorian Christmas market.

"There’s such great potential, as there is for the whole of the town centre.”

Borough council cabinet member for the town centre Robert Jandy was pleased the market had been approved by the board but stressed the final say-so lay with the Government.

He said: “While we’re hoping for a smooth approval, we’re still only part way through that process and we don’t want to jump the gun. If the market is green lit then it’ll be an excellent addition to our town centre and is something that residents have been wanting for years.

“It’ll help improve footfall for the area and hopefully attract even more businesses to set up shop in our town centre.”