Proposals to invest more than £400,000 in Retford’s market are being put forward by Bassetlaw District Council as it seeks to modernise its approach, broaden its appeal and protect the future of the town’s historic market.
Traditionally held on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the markets have been a significant part of Retford’s heritage since King Henry III granted its first charter in 1246. The Council is now taking action in order to safeguard this legacy and ensure that the market retains this tradition, and is financially viable for many years to come.
The Council is now asking the public, market traders, local businesses and local stakeholders for their views on two proposals that could create a semi-permanent market, and provide additional trading opportunities through the historic Buttermarket, located in Retford Town Hall. This will take place as part of a six-week consultation, which runs from Friday 17th November until Tuesday 2nd January 2024.
Funding provided by the Government’s United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), in addition to Capital Funding from the Council, has allowed the Council to put forward proposals to install new bespoke, semi-permanent, multi-purpose market stalls on the Market Square in Retford Town Centre; and repurpose the Buttermarket to provide an additional indoor trading space.
The Council’s proposals are:
To install bespoke, semi-permanent, multi-purpose market stalls on the Market Square in Retford Town Centre.
The primary use of the proposed, multi-purpose stalls will be to host traders who attend the current traditional market days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Installing semi-permanent stalls would also provide the potential for extra trading opportunities for current or new traders on non-market days, subject to the Council’s approval.
When not in use, the stalls could also be converted to seating areas for organised events throughout the year, and for use by local businesses as part of the night-time economy.
Repurpose the Buttermarket to provide an additional indoor trading space.
Repurposing the Buttermarket, located in Retford Town Hall, could provide an additional indoor trading space that could compliment planned traditional markets, or be used independently for bespoke markets and standalone events, including hospitality.
Cllr Jo White, Cabinet Member for Business and Skills at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “This significant investment will allow us to safeguard the sustainability, vitality and viability of its three market days in Retford, and open up additional opportunities to traders and local businesses.
“The proposals could enable traders and local businesses to expand or diversify their offering, in addition to turning the market square, and Buttermarket, into a year-round, multi-functional space.”
A budget of around £175k for Retford Market is proposed, in addition to a budget of £227k to regenerate the Buttermarket proposal. This would create a total investment of more than £400k for Retford Markets.
Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Identity and Place, said: “Nationally and locally, markets have been in decline over the last 10 years, with the Council’s income from markets reducing year on year. Added to this, the costs of running our markets have increased significantly.
“This funding, in addition to investment from the Council, has allowed us to put forward proposals that will enable us to arrest this decline, making the market more sustainable, securing its future provision, and moving towards a position of financial stability.”
Currently the overall cost to the Council to provide a market in Retford each year, after income, stands at £153,000. The aim is to reinvigorate Retford Market so that it provides a sustainable income, allowing the Council to reinvest into the market for the future.