Residents, shoppers and businesses are being urged to attend a special meeting in Market Rasen tomorrow night (Thursday) to discuss the future of the town and its markets.
The inaugural Market Forum Meeting will also have a wider focus after Market Rasen Town Council voted ‘yes’ to explore a long-term project that would see the town’s markets being actively managed, with the further setting up of a Town Centre Partnership.
This move follows work by the town council, MR BIG and Graham Wilson, CEO of the National Markets Authority to develop Market Rasen’s markets and actively promote the Market Place as a venue for community and social events.
Proposals backed by town councillors last week, and supported by MR BIG and the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, will also see the creation of a co-funded Town Centre Co-ordinator role, providing a new central resource to Market Rasen to actively support the economic growth and vibrancy of the town as well as the markets.
Sara Scott, Chair of MR BIG said MR BIG has worked tirelessly for three years to boost Market Rasen and its markets and her organisation backed these new plans.
“Obviously we can’t guarantee that MR BIG will secure more funds from Government, so we’re happy to put the monies remaining from our Portas journey to work over the next three years to support some of the projects we initiated; working with the Lincolnshire Chamber is a natural choice,” she said.
Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce is already involved in Town Centre Partnerships in Boston, Gainsborough and Spalding.
“We have experience of how the model can work and can see real benefits for Market Rasen to build on the town centre development work already done. We also have a number of businesses in Market Rasen who are already members of the Chamber of Commerce and this offers an excellent opportunity to deliver additional local support,” said CEO Simon Bearsley.
The groups, including Market Rasen Town Council, hope for some financial support from West Lindsey District Council, noting the district council already supports a similar initiative and Town Centre Manager role in Gainsborough.
“It would be great to see a firm and tangible offer of financial support from West Lindsey to continue the great work already done on re-invigorating our markets and reinvigorating our town centre,” said town mayor John Matthews.
“I believe that this kind of collaborative initiative that brings people from all sections of our community to the table to shape the way forward is a truly positive step in the right direction.”
The meeting is tomorrow night (January 15) at 7pm in the Festival Hall.