WICKFORD High Street will be closed to traffic every Saturday for six months starting from this week to make way for the launch of the new Wickford Market.

In its new location on the main Wickford High Street, the market will feature up to 20 traders with a variety of stalls including a fishmonger, artisan bread bakery and fashion.

Launching today (May 8), the market will see the high street closed to traffic to support its opening, with the strip set to be pedestrianised every Saturday on a six-month trial period between 5am – 6pm.

Amanda Macey says the move - hoped to help revive the high street - can only be good for the town, especially after the blow of Covid-19.

The 32-year-old from Wickford, said: “Anything that will bring people into the area is of course what we want.

“Our high streets have had quite a tough time with the pandemic and we’ve had a lot of closures over the years.

“Local businesses especially need a bit of a boost, rather than people shopping online which has only got worse through Covid.

“And there’s not enough going on in the town at the moment, which this should hopefully help with.

“People love the Christmas market and markets as a whole have always been quite a hit there, so this definitely gives people something to look forward to.”

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A whopping £54,240 has been allocated from the Re-opening High Street Safely Fund to support the high street closures, helping relocate the market so both traders and residents can benefit from further social distancing measures.

The market will be operating every Saturday between the hours of 8am – 4pm.

David Harrison, chairman of the neighbourhoods and public spaces committee, said: “This has taken a long time to get over the line, but it’s finally happening this weekend.

“We want to make this better than ever before - possibly with some entertainment in the coming months too.”

Wickford Market operator, Trevor Day added: “Wickford has been a market town for years and the market is a great opportunity for the whole

community and shops to help revive the high street and bring people back to the town.”

Basildon Council is receiving up to £165,814 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).