Huntingdon’s market is set to be relocated in a bid to give traders a much-needed boost.
After a decline in the number of stalls for both the Wednesday and Saturday markets in recent years, Huntingdonshire District Council has been given the go-ahead to relocate the market along High Street, from its current home in the Market Square.
The move comes after Cambridgeshire County Council approved a request for the street to be closed to traffic during market days, clearing the way for the market to move to its new home.
Councillor Jim White, executive councillor for operations, said: “We see markets as an important part of our retail offer and supporting them is a key aspect of our support for our market towns.
“We are confident that the new High Street location will provide a welcoming shopping environment that will benefit both market traders and other retailers in the town centre.
“The move will allow the market to expand and I look forward to seeing it develop over the coming years.”
It is hoped that by relocating the market to the heart of the town centre traders will benefit from increased footfall and passing trade.
This view has been backed by the mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Jay Dyne, who said that he hopes the move will entice more traders to become involved with market.
Cllr Dyne said: “I am hopeful it will boost the trade of the market and the stores in the town, and draw more stall holders into the town and improve the flow to the market.
“One of the things I want to do is to be able to boost business and hopefully this will be a good boost to the market as it has dwindled over the years since I moved to Huntingdon.”
Despite backing from Huntingdon Town Council and traders, objections to the road closure were raised during a public consultation, with one correspondent concerned that closing the gates to the High Street would stop any drop offs or pick ups of heavy items.
Another objector stated that they would feel “uneasy” carrying high value goods to one of the stores on the High Street from the town’s car parks.
However, the county council agreed that the benefits outweighed the concerns and provisions could be made to alleviate the fears of those affected by the closure of High Street. It is expected that the market will begin trading from its new home on September 6.