Posted: 05.02.20 at 09:12 by The Editor
The future of Market Deeping's Saturday market will come under the spotlight next week.
South Kesteven District Council pulled the plug last month - just nine months after the market was relaunched in April 2019 - and it is currently 'taking a winter break'.
At Tuesday's (11 Feb) culture and visitor economy overview and scrutiny committee, members will discuss a district-wide markets overview report - including the current position regarding the town's Saturday market.
The report states that the first 12 weeks of the market 'went well' and ran to almost full capacity following the successful launch day - when footfall figures of around 2,000 matched the previous year's Christmas lights switch-on event.
The number of traders - around 20 - was 'helped' by the initial eight-week discounted fees.
But, three months in, several weeks of high winds and rain resulted in poor public turnout.
"The footfall continued to drop and traders started pulling out based on profitability – this was compounded by personal circumstances (ill health) which meant other traders pulled out," explains the report.
Despite increasing advertising through a Facebook page, putting up banners in the town and weekly buskers, new traders - including a bag, furniture and crafts stalls - did not stay due to low footfall and takings.
"Despite best efforts, the Deeping market did not have sufficient demand with customer footfall and the number of traders self-selecting to not participate.
"The Deeping market has now closed for the winter in order to conduct a review to consider options," adds the report.
The report proposes several options:
• Re-opening later in the spring giving time to attract new traders, relaunch and seek community buy-in to support the market
• Combining with the non-SKDC market on Wednesday
• Changing to a more seasonal/occasional market
• Cancelling the market altogether
Tuesday's culture and visitor economy overview and scrutiny committee will be asked to provide feedback and/or confirm how members would like to input to the review of the market.