A public meeting has been called to drive forward the regeneration of Ripon's historic market, in a city-wide response to falling numbers of traders in recent years.
Dozens of concerned stallholders, business owners and residents are expected to attend the meeting organised by Moorside Coun Stuart Martin, which will be held at Ripon Town Hall on February 8, starting at 6pm.
The views and ideas shared by residents about developing the market will then form the basis of a working group to be formed by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC).
The group will include Ripon and HBC councillors, local businesses, shoppers and traders, who will work together in a bid to secure the long-term future of the market.
Coun Martin said: “Traders, shoppers and councillors all want to see a vibrant and growing market. We all have a stake in making sure the market thrives, and that thriving market is critical for the retail health of the whole city.
“Because we all want the market to grow and flourish, I wanted to get the views of everyone in the city to shape the kind of market they want to see. Whether that’s the type and number of stalls, how the market is publicised, the layout or any other part of the market’s operation, it is critical that we know what people think.”
Coun Martin has invited the leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper, to attend the meeting to talk to residents about the market and listen to their views.
Coun Cooper said: “I want our markets to be the go to markets in the north of England. To reach that destination we need to take a journey as a community and the path needs to be set by local people and traders.
“I welcome councillor Martin’s initiative, and will put cash and energy behind making all the borough’s markets the thriving and bustling places they should be."
The number of market stalls in Ripon fell from 62 stalls in 2015, to 57 last year. Residents have already been sharing their ideas for the future of Ripon market. The secretary of Ripon’s Chamber of Trade, Stephen Craggs, said organising themed markets for Saturdays in addition to the traditional Thursday markets, could help bring a new vibrancy to the square, boost visitor numbers, and secure loyalty from stallholders.
Mr Craggs also proposed that there could be a loyalty discount where traders coming to the market for ten months of the year, then have January and February free of rent.
What do you think could rejuvenate Ripon market? Get in touch: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01423 707505.