Stoke-on-Trent City Council has given the go-ahead for community group Our Burslem to run a weekly market in the town. The group approached the council earlier in the year with a petition asking for the green light to run a market in the town on Wednesdays, to boost footfall and offer more retail choice for shoppers.
Following the petition, the city council met with representatives from the group to discuss their idea in more detail and carried out an online public survey to get a better idea of what days and times people wanted the market to be open, and the types of items it should sell.
A total of 283 responses were received to the survey, with 95 per cent of people saying a market would be a positive move for the town. The survey further revealed: 75 per cent of people who took part live in or near Burslem; 82 per cent wanted a weekly market; 73 per cent supported a post-3pm market; and Wednesday (66 per cent), Friday (42 per cent) and Saturday (46 per cent) were the most requested days.
After reviewing the results the council has offered the group a 12-month licence to directly operate its own market in the town after 3pm on Wednesdays. The council has also offered the group the use of the public space outside Burslem Town Hall free of charge to host the market, which would minimise their operational costs.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “We had a really good response from the community to the consultation and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views. All the feedback we received has been considered and I think the solution we have come up with is a win for everyone involved. We have always been open minded about a market in Burslem, but what I have said previously is that it cannot be in direct competition with Tunstall Market, which is very close by. From the petition, it’s clear Our Burslem wishes to organise and run the market. We are more than happy for them to do this. The council will look to support the group and have offered the use of land for the market free of charge. I’m sure the group will make the market a success, like they have done with many other events in the town and I wish them good luck with their venture.”
June Cartwright, founder of the Our Burslem group, said: “Having a weekly market in Burslem is something which residents often ask us about and that was the reason behind our petition to the council. We don’t want to compete with existing markets, but purely serve the people who live and work in the town and surrounding areas such as Middleport and Cobridge. Now we’ve been given the go-ahead for a market we have a lot of hard work ahead. Our committee is made up of seven volunteers but we’re going to give it a real go for the benefit of the town and community. We want the market to have exciting stalls with niche traders, and any money it makes would go back into the coffers to support other events we do like the Christmas lights switch-on and Burslem Festival. We want Burslem to be an exciting place to visit. We have the best nightlife economy in Stoke-on-Trent and the weekly market would really compliment and support the day-time economy.”