Page 15 - MarketTimesJune2014
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  errific town centre
A £3 million investment in Beverley’s Saturday Market has brought the ancient event in the East Riding of Yorkshire bang up to date. NICOLA GOULD visits a market that is a magnet for shoppers
Anyone who thinks Britain’s high streets are failing should visit Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire on a sunny Saturday.
The first challenge is to find a central car park. There is plenty of free parking, but there are plenty of visitors too. The car parks fill up early. The high street is soon thronged with people. The tills ring incessantly in virtually every shop.
And the beating heart of it all is Beverley Market, which has just been returned to its impressive best following a revamp of the town’s market square, appropriately named Saturday Market.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council has invested £3 million in the complete revamp of the square including new and refurbished paving, new top spec electrics for the market,
improved drainage, new street lighting and widened footways.
The council worked closely with the engineers and contractors to keep disruption to a minimum.
And not even the noise and nuisance of major works could quell the appetite for market shopping in Beverley.
“The work started in January 2013 and took longer than anticipated because of delays caused by protests about getting rid of the stones,” said market manager Richard Lascelles.
“But we managed to keep the market open and traders reasonably happy by giving precedence to the permanent traders over the casuals,” he said.
The 80-odd traders seem happy with the revamp and the way the work schedule was
handled. In fact, there are few complaints on any count, which is hardly surprising considering the footfall.
So what is Beverley doing right, that other market towns could replicate?
It’s an ancient market dating back to the days of Henry II, who granted the first charter, and has always been the bustling heart of a prosperous town.
Beverley’s wealth was founded on wool trading and it was once the tenth largest town in England, and one of the richest.
“People have always shopped at the market and they keep up that tradition. It’s the thing to do in this area on a Saturday,” Richard said.
It’s a split market, with the main market in Saturday Market square, and a much smaller number of stalls at the other end of the high street in Wednesday Market square.
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