Maria Cotton, Group Leader – Markets, and Robert Cawthrow, Market Rents and Compliance officer, were welcomed to the meeting. An update was provided on the current situation in relation to the markets held in Penistone, and the marketplace itself.
In relation to comments that the market had been quiet, the fruit and vegetable trader had responded that they had not been affected and for a number of weeks the Thursday market had been 100% let. Historically and more recently the Thursday market had been strong, and was thought to complement the current offer within Penistone.
The market on Saturday remained static, despite investment of time and effort from officers, however this was set against a national trend of decline.
Traders had expressed concerns in relation to banks closing in the centre of Penistone, and how this would impact on trade. Concerns had also been raised in relation to workers using the Tesco carpark as long stay parking, however it was noted that the time limit was now being enforced.
A number of options were being considered in relation to the marketplace, including securing the building in the evening. Previous concerns regarding an alleged public right of way through the building had been thoroughly research and no evidence to confirm the existence of a right of way had been found. It was noted that as it had been previously used for this purpose, any closure of the route could potentially be challenged.
Members heard how preliminary costs had been sought, with £15,000 expected for shuttering to secure the building, with installation costs in addition to this. However, it was noted that repairs to the site are in the region of £4,000 per annum currently.
Members discussed the merits of closing the space, ensuring it was fit for purpose as a market without repeated repairs being necessary. However, it was also recognised that part of the issue related to the lack of facilities for young people, and that closing off the space would likely just move the problem elsewhere. Members commented on the need to maximise the benefits the Market Barn afforded, with it being used as a venue space as well as for markets.
Comments were received that town centre traders had expressed a desire to work with market traders in order to invigorate the economy of the town. Those present were in agreement that the market barn and its use was integral to the town centre and therefore would feed into the Principal Towns Programme, and the feasibility study currently underway.
RESOLVED that the feedback be noted and feed into the Principal Towns Programme.