Crawley’s markets to move out of Queens Square and High Street

jpco-26-2-14 Crawley Market in High Street might close (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140224-123018001
jpco-26-2-14 Crawley Market in High Street might close (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140224-123018001

Crawley’s markets will be moved to The Broadway and Haslett Avenue West.

The borough council will relocate the Friday and Saturday High Street market in October. It is hoped its footfall will increase.

A council spokesman said the Wednesday market in Queens Square would be moved to The Broadway next January to make way for the area’s £3m regeneration project.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “We commissioned a study on the [High Street] market to establish a good location with greater footfall.

“The Broadway and Haslett Avenue West are retail based areas and they could do with more town centre shoppers.

“The vibrancy a market can bring has the potential to really help breathe some life into the area, which would be great to see.”

“We will be working very closely with traders, businesses and Metrobus to make sure we’re getting the move right and benefitting as many people as possible.”

A spokesman said the new location was identified in recent analysis by the Retail Study Group as one of the best town centre spots for a market.

He said the High Street had become the heart of the town’s night time economy but did not provide the best daytime footfall for market traders.

“Freeing up space in the High Street will also make the area easier to use for events like the recent Historic Commercial Vehicle Run, High Street Live and potential open-air cinemas and Veteran Car Runs,” he said.

“The potential for more alfresco dining and drinking in the area will also be investigated.”

The spokesman said council officers will be meeting with market traders, retailers, businesses and Metrobus soon to discuss the new location, layout and council support.

The council subsidises the Queens Square market with £200 per week in order to support the traders.

The spokesman said: “The arrangement was temporary due to weak trading and unfortunately can’t be sustained. The council will work with traders to negotiate a fair and reasonable rent increase to cover market costs, which will be based on higher footfall and better trading.”

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