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Why we must use it or lose it with Preston Markets

Posted on - 11th February, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Redevelopment
Cleaning up at the old Indoor Market for one last time
Cleaning up at the old Indoor Market for one last time

The shutters came down for the final time on the Preston Indoor Market, or did they?

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Built in the 1960s it has been home to the traders since then and been a staple of daily life in our city.

But, this is 2018, and from Monday there will be a new market under the cover of the wonderful Victorian canopy. It’s certainly not gone for good – although the former market building soon will be.

Our shopping habits as a nation, and a city, have changed. We no longer walk to different stalls to pick from a selection of good – the growth of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and co can be pointed to at the same time as traditional markets have declined in footfall and popularity.

If something is easy, people will do it. It’s a fact of life.

Read more: Guild Ale House to open bar in the new market

Now is the time we, as a city, need to start to make a few more difficult choices. We have a purpose-built and new start for a market.

It’s not a market as we currently know and it’s up to us to use it.

£4million has been spent, many traders, both new and old, have staked their future on selling us their wares, food and drink.

Exterior of the new market hall Pic: Tony Worrall
Exterior of the new market hall Pic: Tony Worrall

Those two last words are the crucial part. Markets are becoming eating places as well as buying/selling places.

Look at the list of stalls and the plans revealed and there’s already a chance to down a swift half of locally sourced ale or enjoy a cheeseboard of locally produced cheeses.

Read more: Here’s all the confirmed stalls for the new Preston Market

Many people bemoan the lack of different, independent, traders on the high street. Here’s a place with more than 20 of them under one roof.

So it’s up to us, the people of Preston, to make use of it. Basic economics, if the demand isn’t there, the supply won’t be maintained and we’ll have an empty shell in what should be a bustling environment.

The council must play their part, making it clear there’s something new to try – as a whole market – and finding ways to attract people in.

But it comes to us to make what may feel like small, but hard, changes. Planning that next catch up, or business meeting, make it in the market.

Read more: Wine bar plan announced for cheese stall in the market

Need to take the kids out to kill an hour or two, take them for a walk round the market and see the stalls.

Need that something special for a dinner party, see what’s on offer at the market stalls.

Yes, Preston Market belongs to the council, and those trader who have taken a stake, but ultimately it belongs to us – the people of Preston.

Once you’ve had a look round the new market on Monday then drop us a note in the comments below and let us know what you think of it

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