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By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 07 February 2013 Updated: 08/02 10:00
MARKET days could be cut in a bid to get more specialised traders into the town.
Councillors have recommended reducing the general market to three days a week, down from five currently, and using the other days to hold themed markets.
The move follows research conducted by a special task group formed from the borough council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which suggested some traders were struggling to cover their rents on certain days.
Group chairman Coun Andrew Brazier said it would allow traders to focus on days when they were likely to get more custom.
The three month review into the market has also mooted the idea of allocating free stalls to charities or residents promoting community events on a rotating basis.
Among the 17 recommendations supported by councillors were suggestions signage should be increased in the town centre to direct people towards the market, asking bus operators to promote the venue by carrying leaflets and offers on board and offering businesses from the borough the chance to advertise their goods and services.
If approved by the council's decision-making executive committee, a group will be set up including those from outside the council, to create a strategy for the next five years and monitor the improvements of the market going forward.
Coun Andy Fry told a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday (February 5): "This is a market town and the market is in Market Place. We are very proud of our heritage and we want a market going on into the future.
"I welcome any imitative to enhance the market and get more people there."
Coun Pat Witherspoon added: "We need to be doing a little bit more about the stalls to make them more attractive.
"They can't compete with places like Poundland so the stalls have got to be a bit different."
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