Page 25 - MarketTimesDecember2015
P. 25

                        It’s hard to imagine a more dramatic trans- formation. Established in 1873, Freeman Street market in the historic heart of Grimsby survived the dramatic changes in the town which went from being reputedly the largest fishing port in the world to the demise of its fishing industry.
But by 2008, it was in a sorry state. Built in the 1970s, the market had become dismal, drab and dead on its feet, according to market manager Steve Gotts and development manager Sean McGarel.
Its owners, The Enrolled Freemen of Grimsby, met to decide its fate and, thanks to their largesse, the market has undergone a stunning trans- formation, in the same way as the town has reinvented itself as the food processing capital
of Europe.
Sean, who masterminded the redevelopment, knows more about the market than almost anyone else.
Born into a family of Lincolnshire market gardeners and fruit and veg traders, his great- grandparents stood the market in the late
nineteenth century and he followed in his grandparents’ and parents’ footsteps into the market.
“It helps that I have been a trader on this market and several of the traders I now work with remember me from my trading days,” said Sean, who moved on to a career in supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland.
He was tempted back to Freeman Street when he learned of the ambitious plans to redevelop it.
Unusually, the market is owned by the freemen,

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