HIGH STREET SURVEY: Alnwick Market needs cash injection

Alnwick Market Place is an important part of the town, according to the results of our town-centre survey.

Monday, 27th May 2019, 4:30 pm
Alnwick Market Place.

But the area needs urgent life-saving attention, said the respondents who were commenting on Alnwick.

“It HAS to get a fruit and veg stall again,” said one respondent. “It is half-dead already without that. It is going down fast and needs to be subsidised if necessary.”

A host of stalls were set up in Alnwick Market Place for a Taste of the North event.

Many of you mentioned the lack of stalls and wanted funding directed at the market, with a reduction in rents to attract new stallholders being a priority.

More food stalls was a common theme, as was more entertainment.

Another respondent said: “Operate the market less often and include food stalls and street food, like when the Alnwick Food Festival is on.”

Others wanted more artisan stalls and buskers or a street magician.

“More creative craft and handmade items. Local produce, eggs, etc,” would encourage another reader to visit Alnwick Market more often.

With the weather, particularly in this part of the world being unpredictable at best and awful at worst, there was a lot of support for some kind of cover over the Market Place or, indeed, an indoor market.

But there was also a stark warning: “More traders are required, but if the footfall doesn’t improve then the traders will simply not come to Alnwick. Catch 22.

“More investment is needed. Local Living does not make much money at all. All monies are reinvested into the Market. This year will be a tough one, failing to turn it round will see it close its doors. Other markets are supported by their local councils in terms of funding the erection of stalls. Alnwick Market pays for all of this.”

It wasn’t just the market itself that came in for some criticism and a good deal of sympathy. It was generally felt that the buildings around the square needed some vital care and attention.

One respondent went further: “Clean up or compulsory purchase the atrocious buildings that are unkempt and offer them to new businesses to increase market place vibrancy.

“Have the Northumberland Hall as a place of entertainment for the town such as a boutique bowling alley.”

Other responses to the question of what Alnwick Market needs to improve it’s visitor appeal:

* ‘Continental style seating to encourage people to stay!’

* ‘Shops that are attractive. There are no shops in the market square that I visit.’

* ‘Cover the market square; more effort into attracting traders and other events.’

* ‘An all-weather covering or indoor market like Durham City or Darlington.’

* ‘Music to improve the ambience; more local stalls, including crafts and food.’

* ‘Make the market affordable for stallholders.’

* ‘The weather! The organisers do very well as it is!’

* ‘Tidy up and repair empty buildings in the market place and upper floors.’

* ‘Put it indoors – it’s boring and has been for years. More variety needed.’