New scheme aims to bring fresh traders to stalls on Ipswich Market

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 July 2020

Ipswich council is hoping to attract new traders to the town's market. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich council is hoping to attract new traders to the town's market. Picture: PAUL GEATER


Ipswich council is working with the town centre’s business organisation to give new traders the chance to run market stalls to see if they can make a success of their business.

It is linking up with Ipswich Central to offer new stalls after the idea was floated during an Open House Forum on how to bring life back to the town centre that we hosted last month.

Details were outlined to members of the borough council’s scrutiny committee as it looked at the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the town.

The committee was also told that the street food stalls that operated on Queen Street on market days has still not returned and were waiting until there were more people in the town centre because they did not think there would be the demand for the products.

They sell a range of products from vegan burgers to pizzas to other light meals that are popular with office workers who visit them during the lunch-breaks – but with many staff now working from home or still on furlough they do not feel there will be the demand for their products.

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However they are in regular contact with the council and officials are hoping that some will start to return once the town centre becomes busier as more people return to their offices.

Borough portfolio holder for the town centre Sarah Barber said it was still early days for the scheme for new traders, but invited anyone interested in taking a pitch to contact market supervisor Cari Hodkinson.

She said: “We are hoping this will encourage new people to take on a stall to test the market and bring new faces to the town centre.”

A scheme to encourage new start-ups was proposed by Liberal Democrat councillor Oliver Holmes during the Open House Forum – with Ipswich Central chair Paul Clement suggesting that offering a market stall would be the most cost-effective way to give a potential new trader a foothold in business.

MORE: How can town centres bring people back after the coronavirus crisis

Ipswich market is running three days a week at present – Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – and many of the long-standing stalls are now operating. The number of shoppers in the town centre continues to increase, but it has not reached pre-crisis levels of trading with shoppers being nervous about venturing out unless there are things they feel the need to buy.

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