Residents have been airing their views on the future of the indoor and outdoor markets in the upper Calder Valley.
As part of the 2020 vision action plan, a consultation was held in St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge, to discuss whether residents wanted to have more outdoor markets and if they wanted it moved from George Street to Lees Yard.
And in Todmorden a group of local stakeholders who secured funding to begin a study into the future sustainability of the town’s indoor and outdoor markets have collated the results of consultation carried out in May.
This was undertaken by Todmorden Market Futures Steering Group which includes representatives from indoor and outdoor traders, Todmorden Town Council, Todmorden Pride, Todmorden Rotary Club, Todmorden Civic Society and Incredible Edible Todmorden.
The results demonstrate a significant support for continuation of the markets into the future.
Many people expressed an interest in supporting a move towards community ownership of the markets and a willingness to become “friends” or members of any potential community association.
In this initial phase of the work the steering group will continue talking to local residents and market traders and will explore successful market economy operating models elsewhere.
It is the intention of the group to apply for incorporation as the Todmorden Markets Trust as part of the governance process. This will ensure that the Trust has complete independence from any single stakeholder group.
Steering group conversations with indoor and outdoor market traders will continue between 3pm and 6pm from Wednesday, July 17, to Saturday, July 20. Further conversations with members of the local community will take place at key locations around the town week commencing Monday, July 15.
Consultation is also set to continue with residents in Hebden Bridge as John Walker, Calderdale markets manager, said the authority didn’t want to do anything that would upset local residents.
Calder ward councillor Janet Battye said: “We worked up plans a few years ago to move the market into Lees Yard and make it a permanent one. It wasn’t possible thenbecause we couldn’t find the funding. But there has been interest in developing and extending the market.
“As part of the Hebden Bridge 2020 Action Plan, we want to look again at this and come up with a number of ideas and options.”