Stockton Council is seeking views on the location of Stockton Market to determine its future position on the High Street.
Having unveiled ambitious plans to transform Stockton town centre, the council would like to hear people’s thoughts on the future location of its traditional outdoor market in a three-week consultation.
Traders, local businesses and visitors are being asked to consider where the ‘Queen of the North’ market should sit, with the Castlegate Shopping Centre and the Swallow Hotel being demolished to open up the High Street to the river.
Stockton Waterfront, an urban park with direct access to the river from the High Street, will offer flexible and high-quality spaces for businesses, residents and visitors, but a healthy retail offering will also be at the heart of this.
Under this redevelopment, Stockton’s retail will be consolidated in Wellington Square and the north section of the High Street.
The council is committed to making sure that Stockton’s iconic market remains a prominent presence in the High Street’s retail offering.
There will be five locations options to consider, including the option for the market to remain in its current position, around Stockton’s Town Hall down to the Shambles car park.
Councillor Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “Stockton town centre is changing. Stockton’s iconic market is a huge part of this, but we want it to be in the right location.
“Getting this location right in a reshaped town centre is important for the markets’ traders and visitors, but also for the businesses nearby so that’s why we really need all of their views to find out what people think.
“What we’re doing over the coming weeks is starting a conversation. We want to deliver on what people want to see and these responses will allow us to determine the best place for the market in a modern town centre.
“This is the first step and once we find out what people want, we’ll then continue our engagement programme with traders to discuss the results and work towards what the final market plan would be in that selected location.
“We’re incredibly proud of the markets heritage in our towns, they have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years and add to the vibrancy of a town centre.”
The council has a long history of supporting start-up businesses on the markets with free rent, training and advice on progressing to own their own premises.
The importance of the markets to the borough’s town centres has been highlighted in the council’s Our Markets Matter strategy document, which shows how it will operate going forward as it continues to invest in its markets, staff and traders.
The consultation for Stockton Market’s location opens on Monday May 24, and all views must be received by Sunday, June 13.
You can fill in an online questionnaire by visiting www.stockton.gov.uk/markets.