Page 9 - MarketTimesDecember2015
P. 9

“When it arrived the concern was that it would kill the centre of Braintree,” said Coun Cunningham. That didn’t happen.
In fact, the town and its market have done remarkably well considering the recession. “What we perhaps could have done better
was to bring some of those shoppers from Freeport into Braintree,” he said.
There is a free bus to and from Freeport, but the council believes it can do more to regenerate the town centre to bring increased footfall into the town, from Freeport and elsewhere.
The council is very close to signing off on a major redevelopment on the site of the bus
station, which will include a medical centre and restaurants.
The aim is to enhance the attractions in Braintree and make it a place people want to visit to shop and eat.
“We have a developer in place and I believe this development on the bus station site will unlock the potential of the town centre,” Coun Cunningham said.
The council has money earmarked for the regeneration of the town centre, and it is adamant that the market will be at the heart of the revamp.
“We don’t have firm plans as yet,” he said. “But we believe this town has a lot of
potential, and we are clear that we want to keep the traditional nature of the market.”
Gentrification of the market is not on the agenda, he said. The market works because it is a traditional market offering shoppers what they want.
All of which must be music to the ears of Braintree’s market traders, and also to the market manager, John Cull, who hails from the east end of London and revels in the banter and friendliness of the market.
“It’s a very friendly market and we all get on well,” he said.
And everyone agrees that that is something worth preserving, whatever the future holds.
  Aaron Bolton has stepped up from car boot sales to start a market business selling toys on Braintree market
   Former radio presenter Nick Morrell and his wife June have a flourishing business selling haberdashery on markets in Essex and Suffolk
Cabinet maker Barry Frostick can't keep up with demand for his hand- made bird nesting boxes in the run up to Christmas. He is pictured with his fiancée Tina Gale
Plant man Andy Baxter does well on Braintree market
 l Market Days: Wednesdays and Saturdays
l Market Rent: £1.95 per linear foot for Wednesdays
and £1.70 on Saturdays
l Braintree’s claim to fame: Located in north Essex
between Chelmsford and Colchester, Braintree thrived on agriculture and textiles. Wool cloth was processed in the town by Flemish immigrants. Later Braintree was famous for silk manufacture, an industry started by George Courtauld, whose family paid for several landmark buildings in the town, including the town hall.

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