Nottingham

Mansfield market: Revamp gets council approval despite opposition

Mansfield's Town Hall market
Image caption A market has been operating in Mansfield for more than 700 years

The merger of two markets in a Nottinghamshire town will go ahead, despite opposition from many stallholders.

The decision to merge the Town Hall and Westgate markets in Mansfield was taken by the district council.

Some traders believe the merger will mean a drop in footfall.

The move includes £100,000 in improvements to the existing Town Hall marketplace, including better stalls and signage.

More 'bustle'

Under the changes, street market traders on Westgate will join up with the stallholders on nearby Town Hall Square.

Executive Mayor Kate Allsop said she wanted the town to have "a bustling marketplace" with many new traders.

But market trader Steve Louth said: "We can't afford to drop any takings - it has happened before and that is why the market is half empty."

Westgate stallholder Sue McFarland added: "This will put us - me and plenty of others - out of business. We will not survive down there."

The move will also include a reduction of trading days from six to five days a week to allow special events and concerts.

Ms Allsop said: "I think that in six months' time you'll be looking back and saying what a brilliant move.

"If you pull all the market together, it makes more of a market. People like that feeling of bustle and it will be very, very pleasant in Mansfield."

She said there would 20 cost-free stalls available for new and first-time traders for 12 months.

Stall prices will increase from April 2016 with rates ranging from £6 to £26 a day.

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