Monday, 15 August 2022

'Artisan' market awarded short trial

A NEW “artisan” market is to be trialled in Henley for three months.

It will use both Market Place and Queen Elizabeth Hall, which is on the top floor of the town hall and the town council wants to make better use of.

Duck Pond comprises a group of artisans which already operates successful markets in Richmond, Chalfont St Peter and Ruislip.

It offers two types of markets — food and art — but Henley will have only the art market to avoid conflict with local traders.

A report to a meeting of the council’s town and community committee said: “The council enjoys an income of £23,500 from the seating licences for traders situated around the Market Place.

“This boosts the revenue budget but does not really increase the footfall as in recent years there has been a significant increase in coffee shops in Henley — it is relatively easy to find somewhere in Henley to sit and enjoy refreshments.

“A central outdoor area in Market Place has been identified for a trial of a new type of market without the loss of the seating licences.

“The three-month trial will experiment with both the inside and outdoor facilities from May to July.

“If successful, Duck Pond hopes to book an average of 11 markets with 60 stalls for each one. Stallholders pay between £6 and £10 per stall, thus making it affordable for local crafts people.”

The current markets are made up of weekly charter markets, monthly farmers’ markets and quarterly weekend markets.

The report added: “Henley is a market town that should have a reputation for some of the best markets in the area. Concern has been expressed as to the quality of the products on offer and their suitability for the Henley residents and visitors.

“Some traders have recently complained that the weekend markets in particular have damaged their trade throughout the year by selling similar products.”

After the trial the council will review footfall and the effect on traders.

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