More stalls heading back to Ipswich Market next week as lockdown eases

A few stalls returned to Ipswich Market at the start of May. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A few stalls returned to Ipswich Market at the start of May. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Ipswich Market is set to start operating three days a week from June 9, with more stalls open.

But it could be several more weeks before it is as large as it was before the lockdown – and many stallholders are expected to wait to see how many shoppers return to the town centre before they decide whether to return.

Before the lockdown, the market operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It was closed completely for a few weeks after the start of the lockdown, but some food stalls returned a few weeks ago operating on Fridays and Saturdays only.

From June 9, it will also operate on Tuesdays – but council officials do not know how many stalls will be returning then.

One of the stalls that returned at the start of May was Young’s fish stall – and Lucy Young said they would certainly be operating on June 9 when it went to three days a week. “I don’t know how many others will be here, but we certainly will,” she said.

Catchey’s fruit and veg stall will not be returning until the middle of the month.

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Owner Mick Catchpole said: “We won’t be coming back until the shops are starting to open, so we won’t be there until June 16. Without the shops being open, there simply isn’t the footfall in the town centre to make it worthwhile.”

The council is contacting all the regular stallholders to find out how many of them are likely to return. Once they know the numbers they will start to plan a new layout for the market.

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At present, a few food stalls continue to operate in Princes Street – but if there are more, they will have to go to Giles Circus and possibly on to the Cornhill itself if they are to ensure there is enough space for social distancing and allowing people to stay two metres away.

While Ipswich’s main market is expanding again, there is no word yet on when the town’s farmer’s market will resume. It normally takes place on the first Sunday of the month on the Cornhill, although other farmers’ markets across Suffolk are to start again during June.

The government said outdoor markets are able to reopen from the start of June, with all stalls able to operate. Those which have been open over the last few weeks have been stalls selling essential supplies, like food and drink.

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