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FEATURE • WINCHESTER
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   Leah Allen has recently launched The Jerk Inn, a street food business on the market, after 10 years running a catering company. She says she received a lot of help and support from the market team
 the people who trade on them and I know what works and what doesn’t,” Paul said.
He likes to start markets from scratch and sees the right location as central to any market’s success, so he wasn’t particularly interested in taking over the running of Winchester market in its existing location.
But, whether it was for nostalgic reasons or because of the potential, he agreed to take over the running of the ailing market.
He persuaded the council to agree to holding a Christmas market in the High Street. It was such a success they agreed to trial moving the market to the High Street on Wednesdays and, as Paul says, the rest is history.
Not that it was all plain sailing. Paul and his team encountered opposition from shops who were concerned about getting a shabby market stall outside their plush units.
The local BID (Business Improvement District), also voiced its concerns, and there was a feeling that a general market might not be quite right for this venerable old High Street and its well-heeled shoppers.
But Paul and his team understood that the market businesses and gazebos had to be of the highest quality to succeed in this upmarket community.
John Quinn, the market manager, said: “There is no way any trader who wasn’t a
hundred per cent quality would survive on this market. Here you can buy a bedspread for between two and three hundred pounds or a hat for £40. People here will pay a high price as long as they are getting the right quality and the offer suits them.”
Paul said the team worked hard to win round the doubters. In the end the council ran a public consultation which found that people over- whelmingly wanted to keep the market in the High Street and cited it as a main reason for shopping there.
Now there is harmony and all the stakeholders are working together.
These days there are around 30 traders on a
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