Action plan to spark markets back into life

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HUCKNALL’S struggling market (pictured) is closer to being given a much-needed lifeline after councillors agreed to look into an action plan to help boost trade.

Ashfield District Council’s Cabinet unanimously backed recommendations that aim to rejuvenate the market — and its counterparts in Sutton and Kirkby.

The proposals were produced after consultation with market traders, council officers and other councils and include measures to increase customer numbers and stall occupancy-levels.

Coun Andrew Davidson (Lab) said the review had been ‘very positive and very constructive’.

Any strategy developed would consider resources available to promote and revitalise the markets.

Other proposals include better use of the Internet for promotion and working with colleges, employment centres and business advice centres to promote the advantages of markets as start-up or long-term business opportunities.

A review by Ashfield Council’s scrutiny panel concluded that despite many consumers now shopping online, markets still have an important role in the local economy and in boosting community cohesion and town-centre vibrancy.

Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is deputy leader of the council, said a working party would be put together to carry out plans for the markets.

“No stone will be unturned in our endeavour to help our retailers in our markets,” he said.

“Every possible option will be investigated.”