By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 15 March 2013 Updated: 15/03 13:34
THE COUNCIL could hand over control of Redditch market to an outside organisation as part of a plan to revitalise its fortunes.
Although not one of the recommendations put forward by a group which spent three months reviewing the market, the suggestion was made by Coun Greg Chance when borough councillors met to discuss the proposals at an executive committee meeting on Tuesday (March 12).
Coun Chance said: “It may be there are people who can run it in a far more commercially successful way than we can.
“When we are starting to look at the options we need to look at who can run it and how best to run it. We need to look radically at the options to find the best way forward.
“We need to get this right so everyone in the town benefits from a vibrant town centre.”
Recommendations from councillors on the Redditch Market Task and Finish Group include setting up a group to oversee suggested changes such as cutting market days to three a week and putting on themed days such as Farmers’ Markets.
But Coun Chance suggested the measures could be implemented more efficiently by an organisation other than the council.
Ros Sidaway, director of Redditch Town Centre Partnership, expressed an interest in running or operating the themed markets.
“Those markets will differentiate the town from other towns around us. The market needs something to set it aside from the big brand shops to become somewhere characterful which represents Redditch as a great place to live, work and play.”
John Staniland, the council’s executive director of planning and regeneration, confirmed they were aware other local authorities had looked at the option of handing over control of their markets.
“Nothing has been ruled out at this stage. The recommendations from the report considered by the executive committee will now be taken forward by the portfolio holder with officers.”
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