£30,000 bill for Newmarket’s Market move to High Street in bid to halt decline

Newmarket Market’s High Street move is a bid to halt a long-term decline in trade and traders on its existing car park site

Newmarket’s street market is to move to a new High Street location but a dispute has arisen as to who will pick up the bill.

Costs are expected to be as high as £30,000 to install an electricity supply on the new site but Newmarket town manager Roberta Bennett said that the town council had not budgeted for such an expense.

Cllr Mick Jefferys argued that as the market was the district council’s responsibility it should be footing the bill.

However a spokesman from Forest Heath District Council said: “While there is a strong commitment from all partners for the trial to bring the market back to the High Street, there are some technical challenges that need to be understood. “Conversations with our partners in working to identify local, affordable solutions for relocating the market are ongoing.”

The market move is due in April  2018 when the market —with a Charter dating back to the 13th Century— will transfer from its current location on a car park behind the Guineas to a site on Newmarket High Street between the Clock Tower and the Rutland Arms.

Both town and district councillors hope the move will regenerate the market which has been in decline in recent years. Around 40 parking spaces will be freed up following the move.

Councillor David Bowman, Forest Heath cabinet member for operations said: “For the past three years we have been working with traders, their industry association and retail partners to reverse the continuing decline in Newmarket Market.

“After exploring all options, we have confirmed that the preferred way forward is to move onto the High Street. It is a very different environment from the current car park location and will require a new format and new operating practices, and we have just started discussions with traders to understand the impact of the proposed new terms and conditions.

“We propose to run a six-month pilot before reviewing the change with all our partners.”

The format of the market will be three-metre square gazebos provided by the council and held by the traders, facing towards the shops and printed with ‘Newmarket Market’ branding.

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