Page 28 - Market Times June 2021
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   Richard Beddard is markets and town centre cleansing manager for Stockton Borough Council and has overseen improvements to the market
Coun Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, says the market is the true Queen of the North and is at the heart of the vision to transform the town
  Jaz Singh sells watch batteries and straps on Stockton market Matthew Graves loves the personal touch that a market pitch
which he says is one of the best in the region
two rows of stalls facing outwards. Some time around the 1990s it was doing so well that Friday was added to Wednesday, which is charter day, and Saturday, because there were so many casuals wanting to stand the market.”
By the time Richard took over its running in 2012, the “queen” was a little shabby round the edges. The number of stalls had dwindled, which left gaps.
A £38 million transformation undertaken between 2012 and 2015 saw a recon- figuration of the High Street, with a stretch at the north end turned into a dedicated events space, an eye-catching central fountain area, and a dedicated market area running from the town hall to the Shambles car park.
affords. He is doing well with the Avon business he took to Stockton market four years ago
The market move did not initially find favour with some traders. But in time it has proved a success, and the council’s efforts to support traders and improve the market have made a difference.
Richard said: “I wanted to improve the look of the market so we supplied our traders with blue and white striped tops, side sheets and table cloths, as well as green astroturf for the fruit and veg, all free of charge.”
Initiatives including new market regulations, generous incentives to bring new businesses on to the market and support for new and existing traders, such as free social media courses, have been well received.
Richard’s deputy, Jon Wilmot, has taken
the lead in developing social media to promote the market.
An imaginative programme of market events, such as Love Your Local Market celebrations, Cupcakes and Carnations for Mother’s Day, and Stockton Sparkles just before Christmas, have pulled in the punters.
Stockton is also heavily involved in the NMTF Young Traders Market 2021.
And a string of general events, such as a Supercar Saturday, are bringing more and more visitors to the town, many of whom go on to discover the market. These days the town welcomes coaches of visitors and the planned regeneration which will open up the town centre to the waterfront, can only help.

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