Stockton’s outdoor market is set move to the north end of the High Street after a consultation with traders, businesses and visitors found there was a clear majority for it to be positioned in this future location.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has worked with traders to find a future location for the ‘Queen of the North’ market that works for all, with this jewel in the crown set to be located in the area which is close to the High Street’s future retail offering.
This means the market will benefit from retail footfall in light of key future changes happening in the town centre, including the demolition of the Castlegate shopping centre, the Swallow Hotel and the consolidation of retail into Wellington Square and the north section of the High Street.
45 per cent of respondents in the consultation chose the most suitable future location for Stockton Market as being between the Shambles and the Town Hall and towards the north of the High Street in the northern events space.
92 per cent of existing market traders took part in the consultation, with 73 per cent of these voting for this location as their preferred choice.
In May, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council began a three-week consultation on the future position of Stockton Market with traders, business owners and visitors to Stockton town centre being given the chance to identify the most suitable location on the High Street.
An online survey was created for responses, as well as six face-to-face sessions being held at a consultation stall at Stockton’s market to ensure inclusive access for those wanting to share their views.
Five options were presented, including the option for the market to remain in the same location, with the option one being the clear majority – for the market to be located between the Shambles and the Town Hall and towards the north of the High Street in the northern events space.
Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “We had a great response to our consultation on the future location of Stockton Market. Thank you to everyone who shared their views, it’s clear that people care deeply about the market and that it should always remain a prominent fixture in the town’s retail offering.
“The consultation shows there is strong support for the market to be located near to the town’s future retail space and we’re going to start that process now to determine the best individual location for traders.
“We’ve listened to trader feedback and will be commencing the relocation in the early part of next year to ensure minimal disruption to them with the upcoming events programme.
“We’re on a journey to transform our six towns to make them fit for the future but it still remains important for a successful town centre to have a strong retail offering at its heart. This outcome also ensures that we remain committed to delivering what people want to see and to maintain an excellent relationship between ourselves, businesses and their customers.”
It’s proposed that the market move will commence in January 2022.
A dialogue is also taking place between the Council and market traders to assess and determine the individual location of traders’ stalls within the footprint of the preferred option.
The individual needs of traders will be considered throughout this phase, alongside the operational requirements of the High Street in order to ensure that the market can operate in a safe and accessible manner alongside other uses.
View the full summary of responses to the consultation at Stockton.gov.uk/Markets