Rasen councillors question future of town market

Market Rasen Market Place EMN-181202-164412001
Market Rasen Market Place EMN-181202-164412001
  • Market Rasen Town Council is running market at a major loss

A question mark hangs over the future of Market Rasen market, with traders struggling to make a profit and the town council running it at a loss.

Speaking at Market Rasen Town Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday 
(April 4), Coun Steve Bunney said: “Really, the market is causing us a bit of a concern.

Council discuss being more aware of problem facing market traders in the town.

Council discuss being more aware of problem facing market traders in the town.

“It’s very important we put together a strategy for what we want to see.”

Coun Bunney said the lease the council pays to run the market may well go up soon, and added: “Do we want to continue?”

It comes as long-serving fruit and veg stall North’s has decided to pull out of 
regular trading and take on a casual licence.

Coun Bunney said: “It [the market] is being subsidised 
by the town council.

“£5,500 this year and that’s being very, very conservative. The true figures have been another £3-4,000 per year.

“It’s a service for the community but it’s a big one when it comes to costing.

“We haven’t made money on the Market Place, or Festival Hall, for a long time.

“The trend is definitely down.”

Mayor John Matthews added: “The only time the market came anywhere near to break even was in the 
MR BIG hey day.”

But Coun Bunney said: “Even then it didn’t break even.

“I think we do need to sit down and do some sort of information gathering meeting.

“What we want to see in the Market Place and how to make it work.”

Coun Bunney said one possibility was to have just one market per week, or - if traders wanted to have stalls on a Saturday - to do it in a way that cost the council less money to run.

He said another option would be to look getting a grant to purchase the Market Place from the 
current owner, saving the council the annual lease fee.

Coun Bunney said: “The majority [of traders] have not made much money since Christmas.

“There has been a definite fall in footfall.

“I don’t want to see the market go, I want to see what we can do to support it.”

Coun Aidan Johnson said: “We can accept it [the market] is not profit making.”

Market Rasen Town Council currently runs the market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The discussion regarding the market comes as councillors adopted a three-year strategy plan for the town.

The plan sets out five priority areas - environment and heritage, health and wellbeing, leisure and culture, development and economy, transport and access.

Speaking at a town council meeting back in February, Coun Bunney said: “The fact that now we have got here (to the strategy), the real issue is the economic development of the town which involves a lot of people, including the market.

“We need to be pushing that as one of our main strategies.”