MARKET: It must be competitive

I read with great interest your piece on the plans for Alnwick market place – Estates gives market major boost, (Northumberland Gazette, December 31).

As a local potential stallholder, I wish all the interested parties the best of luck.

During 2015, I traded as The Nut Roaster from the Quayside, Morpeth and Tyneside markets.

I did not trade from Alnwick, despite it being the closest market to me.

Why not? Because of these four markets, Alnwick is the most expensive for stallholders and it is the least busy.

This is not rocket science – make the rents competitive and stallholders will come.

They will not come to stand in all weather without customer footfall, which is what stallholders pay for.

It will take time and hard work to break out of this vicious circle.

Alnwick market place is an attractive venue, but quaint old buildings and cobbled streets don’t pay the bills, people do.

Looking out of my window into the semi-darkness of this January late morning, while all around rivers burst their banks and bring misery and destruction, it is hard to believe that up there above the clouds the sun is shining.

But shine it will and in the spring Alnwick market, and everyone else, will emerge blinking and gazing upon the sunlit uplands of the prosperous future that awaits one and all.

With a bit of luck.

R Handyside,

Swarland.