Five year plan to improve St Albans' historic markets
PUBLISHED: 06:09 31 October 2014
A five year plan is currently being drawn up for St Albans markets which will include ways they can attract more visitors and potentially see more niche stalls introduced.
St Albans district council is setting out a vision and actions plan to develop and increase the markets’ “contribution to the city’s vitality”.
A review is also being carried out which includes the Wednesday and Saturday charter markets, the farmers’ market, and extra markets running up to Christmas.
Steps have already been taken to develop the markets with the introduction of a food quarter on Wednesdays and during the annual Christmas market.
At a meeting on October 23 a report setting out actions being considered to improve the markets was received by the Cabinet which included increasing the number of stalls and introducing ‘pop-up’ style stalls to improve layout flexibility and reduce the cost of erecting them.
The report also looked at reconfiguring the markets for different locations and events and creating new opportunities for start-up businesses.
It also focused on the markets’ performance as a visitor destination by creating new markets and promoting them more effectively on social media and to tour operators.
There was also a need to meet the needs of traders and their customers by managing the mix of stalls, piloting new vintage and night markets and researching customers’ views.
Cllr Beric Read, portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, said: “The markets are a key feature of St Albans. The markets not only enhance the character of the city, they also attract visitors helping to generate footfall for local businesses.”
He went on that it was a key priority for the council to review the markets this year and to develop a plan for them: “We are speaking to a wide range of stakeholders including traders as part of this process. We hope to publish the five-year plan for the markets in 2015.”