Cash commitment and further talks for future of district's markets
News of a cash commitment to bolster Knaresborough and Ripon markets has been welcomed by town councillors and Chamber of Trade.
Although no figure has yet been announced, Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has this week confirmed it will pay to promote and support initiatives at the markets.
It follows public meetings with traders and residents in December, when the council announced it wouldn’t pursue a set of potential changes to address decline at the markets.
Leader of HBC, Coun Richard Cooper said: “I am not willing simply to sit back and let that decline continue but with a national decline in High Street shopping it is going to take a concerted community effort. “Having attended meetings and spoken to hundreds of people I know that community will is there. “We all know that for the vitality and retail diversity of our district our markets need to grow and to thrive.”He added: “People should start thinking about how we do this now. The future for our markets is going to be successful and exciting and it will be so because it will be a future built by the Council, current traders, new traders and the community.”
Further talks are set for February and could cover ideas including greater digital promotion and advertising of stalls.
Coun David Goode, Mayor of Knaresborough said: “Given the draw of the original announcement at the meetings it’s positive to see the council are continuing to progress a programme to improve offerings at the market. I welcome anything helping promote the markets in both Knaresborough and Ripon.”
Coverage by the Harrogate Advertiser and other media outlets was credited by the Knaresborough Chamber of Trade as helping ensure the council maintain a dialogue with traders.
Stephen Teggin, President of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade said: “Because of the support from the media the council have made sure they come forward with a proposal and will be held to their commitment of working with market traders to keep our market.”