Sunday vintage markets saved by district council
- Credit: Bigstock
One of St Albans' popular Sunday markets has been saved from the cancellation at the eleventh hour.
As revealed in the Herts Ad, the vintage markets were axed with just a few weeks' notice by managers St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) - despite written confirmation that they would be going ahead.
BID chair Alison Berneye initially blamed resources, the spread of Omicron, the winter weather and health and safety issues surrounding traders and gazebos, adding that all markets had been placed on hold while the BID was going through a renewal process.
But she later backtracked on this statement, placing the responsibility with St Albans district council (SADC) and the reopening of city centre roads closed since the end of the first Covid lockdown.
Last month a decision was made to temporarily re-open High Street and George Street in advance of extensive pedestrianisation trials in April, which has reduced the amount of space available for BID markets, including those on Sundays and Fridays.
SADC denied they had anything to do with the cancellation, and this week stepped in to save the day.
Local resident Jenny Titmuss of Corky Events, who runs the vintage market, thanked the Herts Ad for covering the crisis: "The response in support of the market has totally overwhelmed me and I love that the voice of the people can be heard when they shout loud enough.
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"James Nuanain, the new market manager, has confirmed that [SADC chief executive] Amanda Foley has signed off the continuation of the market for the time being until we can come up with a more permanent solution. So we will be going ahead this Sunday!
"To be clear, the BID have played no hand in sorting this out and when I had a meeting with Alison Berneye this week she didn't even know that SADC was sorting it out for me."
An SADC spokesperson said: “We are pleased the next three planned vintage and antique markets will go ahead following our discussions with one of the organisers and St Albans BID.
“A new temporary location has been agreed as some city centre areas are no longer pedestrianised and we will help with planning for the long term.”