QUESTIONS have been asked about Bromsgrove’s town centre market by residents claiming many stalls that were there before the High Street resurfacing began have not returned to their pitches now it is completed.
The Standard has been contacted by several people about the issue and claims have been made that the authority told the organisers of the Worcestershire Farmers’ Market it was unable to accommodate it. It has now moved to Webbs on the second Saturday of each month.
Sally Coombes, who wrote a letter about the issue which can be read on page ten, said: “It’s well and good revamping the High Street but if the end result is losing the Farmers’ Market and some of the regular traders has it been worth it?
“This is a terrible blow for Bromsgrove.
“I read in the local press that there was a ‘lot of interest’ in new stalls but the prices have been increased and various stallholders haven’t returned.”
Another resident who comes to Bromsgrove town centre every Saturday from South Birmingham added: “There were a couple of market traders who we used to like visiting each week and they have not come back now the market has returned to the High Street.
“I’d like to ask the council what has happened.”
The Standard contacted Worcestershire Farmers’ Markets secretary Maureen Marklew.
She said: “The council told us when it started excavating the High Street that it could not accommodate us and Mr Webb was good enough to invite us to the garden centre and we haven’t looked back.
“The market has gone from strength to strength – we now have 17 stalls there and we are looking forward to seeing customers we used to see in Bromsgrove, along with welcoming new ones.”
Coun Mike Webb, whose portfolio covers economic development. said: “While most of the traders old and new have already set up stall in the revamped High Street, it is still early days and we look forward to welcoming even more traders as time goes by.
“We designed into the new High Street an events area, which was used at our grand opening throughout August and September.
“We intend to host a variety of events there such as international markets and indeed would love to see the farmers’ market also taking advantage of this opportunity.”