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By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 09 November 2012 Updated: 12/11 20:32
RESIDENTS are being asked to have their say on how Redditch market could be overhauled.
A survey of shoppers' views will form part of an investigation being carried out by a panel of councillors into ways to revive the market
The task and finish group, led by Coun Andrew Brazier, has been out in the town centre asking residents for their views and will also visit other towns, such as Bromsgrove, to see how their market differs.
Recommendations will then be made and if approved by the decision-making executive committee, the report could trigger a range of changes at the market.
Coun Brazier said: "This is all about our local market but we are looking at the bigger picture. What affects markets? Why do people use them? What helps traders succeed? Answers to questions like these will help steer the course for the Redditch market.
"Feedback from residents is key - the group was going to report back to the overview and scrutiny committee in January, but we've extended it until February to allow for a thorough consultation and I would encourage residents to have their say."
Visit www.redditchbc.gov.uk to take part in the survey or join the debate on the Standard's Facebook page or @RedStand on Twitter. Alternatively email email@example.com or write with your views to Redditch Standard, Webb House, Church Green East, Redditch, B98 8BP.
Here is what some of you have had to say already:
Rosa Strain, Lodge Park - "The market needs to be upgraded to include more clothes, more variety, bargains and things like jewellery stalls. It needs something for everybody. In other markets there are lots of clothes, children's stuff, lots for men and people selling sheets and towels and things everybody needs.
"It needs to grow and become a bit more upmarket, that way it would bring more people in who would say have you been to Redditch market? It used to be brilliant when it was where the old Woolworths was.
"It should be extended round the streets and further down Alcester Street. I have been in Redditch 32 years and we have now been let down by the market. At one time it was a big thing. In Shrewsbury the market is not as big as it was but there is still variety and you could easily spend three hours looking at the stalls.
More promotion is needed and more advertising of what's being sold so people will go down and have a look."
Mark Febery, Southcrest - "The market should be bigger. I agree with it not being on a Sunday as the market traders need a day off but the heart of the town is gone on a Wednesday when it's not on. Redditch is a vibrant town and you can get everything without going to the out of town stores which are ruining many towns and this should stay the same. We don't want the town to die.
Farmers' Markets would be good on a Wednesday."
Seiriol Brookes, Church Hill - "There aren't many options at the moment, it would be nice to see candles or trinkets. It's not up to date, I would go to markets but not that one. Maybe if there were more nice clothes but they tend to be usually for older generations.
"The atmosphere would be a bit better if there was entertainment on and it'd be lovely to have themed markets like a Christmas market - I would rather come to the market here than spend money to go to Birmingham or elsewhere if we had themed days."
Heather Poole, Winyates - "It would be good if there were more stalls and they could also use the site they used for the market before [behind Debenhams].
"Entertainment such as magicians would be great and music to listen to. At Christmas having music on draws you in whereas at the moment people just walk past it. If there's an act on on a particularly day people then might come back to the market.
The market could be promoted more using newspapers, Facebook and Twitter but word of mouth is the best promotion. It could do with a little bit of investment and to make it easier for someone to get a market stall there for example by helping people out with the initial costs for the first few months."
Emma Sutor, owner of the Unicorn Hill vintage shop - "If there was some really cool stuff like bric-a-brac and knick-knacks then I would go but what is actually there at the moment?
"We should have a Christmas market, I would definitely take my family there.
"Anything that's there has got to be reasonable, but if it's a good product people do not mind paying the price for it. You never see young kids at the market as it does not cater for anyone under 40 really.
"What is attracting people up there as the stalls look like they need a facelift, it could look a lot smarter up there."
I don't use it anymore. Since the shopping centre was changed, the market has gone downhill. I feel for the traders, and have watched many have to pack up and move on.
Market traders find it difficult to compete on luxury items these days. Their reduced overheads used to mean that you could find bargains, but corporate buying power has put an end to that. I believe that traders should concentrate on locally grown/made fresh products if they want to succeed in the future.
I feel that it's out of the way and people forget that it's there! I like the idea of having theme days!
They need to be moved indoors with fewer overheads. Coventry has an established indoor market that is awesome. Stop moving the poor market holders around and treating them like the poor relative. They already provide a good service but one that people can see or access easily - I thought they were going to put an indoor market next to the bus station at one point?
Some more dedication to theme markets would be good, a regular Farmers' Market. And a Christmas market would be great. There's so much room around Church Green there's enough room for stalls and rides, even a temporary ice rink and still have room for regular market traders. Hopefully that would improve trade for them and attract more.
I don't think there is the need for a market now with the cheap shops in Redditch, it's a shame as its people's living but you can only battle with it for so long it's far too competitive!
Love the idea of themed markets. Gives small local businesses a bit a public interest at these kinda events.
I think the layout is rather scruffy, perhaps there'd be more visitors if it wasn't.
Non-driver but think that accessibility and signage not brilliant from main car parks.
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