Southend town centre market to double in size

Welcome expansion – market organiser Trevor Day

Welcome expansion – market organiser Trevor Day

First published in News by

SOUTHEND’S town centre market has proved so successful, it is to double in size – just four months after it opened.

A butcher, a cheese specialist and more clothing stalls are set to join the High Street market every Thursday as it expands to offer 32 pitches late next month.

Market organiser Trevor Day, from Hockley, who also sells toiletries and household goods on a stall there, said: “We hope it has brought more people into the town.

“Southend can be a little drab, but it has brought some life to the town each Thursday.”

Southend Council reintroduced the open-air market last October and is aiming to add seven stalls to the current 16 at the start of March, with a full 32 trading by the end of the month.

Several traders have already applied to take stalls and the council, which licences the pitches and inspects and regulates them, says it is checking their references and considering the type of goods it wants to see on sale.

Traders will have to meet strict criteria, with food stalls expected to meet exceptional food hygiene standards.

Marzia Abel, the council’s town centre manager, said: “We certainly want to ensure as wide a variety of stalls as possible.

“While we have a good selection of stalls at the moment, we will be looking to broaden the offer to include a butcher, a cheese specialist, and to extend the fashion offer for all ages.

“There is a set criteria, which encourages quality, rather than cheap goods, but does not allow hot or cooked food stalls, or coffee vendors, as there are plenty of town centre businesses covering these things.”

The new market replaced the one which closed in York Road in 2009, with stalls lining the High Street to the north of the railway bridge towards the Victoria Shopping Centre. It trades from 8am until 2pm.

Independent councillor Mike Assenheim lobbied hard for the return of the market, but wanted to see it in the Victoria Plaza end of London Road.

Stalls may soon come close to that part of the town centre when the market is enlarged.

Deputy council leader John Lamb said: “A market has always been an important element of Southend life. We’re keen to see it expand. The High Street traders are happy with that and it offers residents and visitors alike a different outlook on the town.

“Southend’smarket is a success because it’s what good markets are all about – good quality goods and people getting a good deal.

“It’s a win-win for everyone really – for the market traders because people are visiting more, for the surrounding retailers, because it has a positive knock-on effect on their businesses, and local shoppers, because they get a wider range of produce to buy.”

Echo:

Infrastructure – retailers’ leader Dawn Jeakins

Retailers welcome growth – but want high standards

RETAILERS have backed market expansion plans, but have warned they want standards to be strictly maintained by the council.

The market appears to have attracted more customers into the High Street on Thursdays without stealing customers from the nearby shops.

Dawn Jeakings, chairman of Southend Business Improvement District, which represents town centre businesses, said: “The businesses are happy with the market in its present form.

“Anything which increases trade into the town has to be a good thing.

“I agree the quality of produce has to be there. A butcher and a cheese specialist would be perfect.”

However, Ms Jeakins, who is manager of the Royals Shopping Centre, at the opposite end of the the High Street, said the council would need to keep a careful eye on the standard of the stalls and make sure facilities for market traders were up to scratch.

She explained: “Long term, the infrastructure needs looking at properly.

“If it grows the traders will need proper drainage and other facilities.

“Also uniform awnings for the stalls might be needed.”

 

 

Comments (5)

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4:42pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Andycal 172D says...

Oh goody! More toot on sale in the High Street - who would have guessed?
Oh goody! More toot on sale in the High Street - who would have guessed? Andycal 172D
  • Score: -8

4:57pm Thu 6 Feb 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Andycal 172D wrote:
Oh goody! More toot on sale in the High Street - who would have guessed?
Markets are markets, but it certainly has made the high street feel better on Thursdays,i got nothing against markets if you buy you buy if not just walk through, the cakes/breads look great, the more the better.
[quote][p][bold]Andycal 172D[/bold] wrote: Oh goody! More toot on sale in the High Street - who would have guessed?[/p][/quote]Markets are markets, but it certainly has made the high street feel better on Thursdays,i got nothing against markets if you buy you buy if not just walk through, the cakes/breads look great, the more the better. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 13

5:15pm Thu 6 Feb 14

lucy10 says...

what good news for the high street bigger the better.
will give more life to high street well done to the independent Councillors
for the market. the conservatives and Labour did not want this market.
what good news for the high street bigger the better. will give more life to high street well done to the independent Councillors for the market. the conservatives and Labour did not want this market. lucy10
  • Score: 7

6:33pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Southend Andy says...

A nice successful story about Southend High Street & people still have to complain about it, if you don't like the town move!
A nice successful story about Southend High Street & people still have to complain about it, if you don't like the town move! Southend Andy
  • Score: 14

7:08pm Thu 6 Feb 14

the25man says...

Markets bring diversity to a humdrum high street. Places like Bath hold a Christmas Market where thousands go. Romford has a Market but some of it is a bit of a much ness. So if you get a diverse set of traders then Thursday is well worth visiting Southend high street and may be could be opened on a Saturday
Markets bring diversity to a humdrum high street. Places like Bath hold a Christmas Market where thousands go. Romford has a Market but some of it is a bit of a much ness. So if you get a diverse set of traders then Thursday is well worth visiting Southend high street and may be could be opened on a Saturday the25man
  • Score: 7

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