Bring struggling Peterborough City Market back to Cathedral Square say councillors

City Market Peterborough ENGEMN00120131021140902
City Market Peterborough ENGEMN00120131021140902
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The city market in Peterborough should move back to Cathedral Square to improve its appeal, according to councillors.

Concerns have also been raised that the new planned £100 million development at North Westgate, which is hoped to be completed by 2017/2018, will impact the market due to its food court.

The market has been trading on its current site since 1963.

The remarks were made last night (Thursday, March 19) at Peterborough City Council’s Strong and Supportive Communities Scrutiny Committee.

There was a downbeat atmosphere regarding the future of the market despite Gary Wright, market development manager at the council, outlining improving results alongside his report.

Mr Wright said the percentage of available slots at the market being taken up by stallholders had gone up from 77 per cent in January 2014 to 83 per cent currently, with 11 more stallholders waiting to take up a position.

However, he said: “The market has been neglected for a number of years. There is no quick fix.

“Things are ticking over slowly.”

Mr Wright highlighted positive aspects such as new food stalls which are about to begin trading and a steady footfold to the market, before adding: “The market is a bit tatty, although we managed to get the railings painted.

“We were trying to commission WiFi but it’s a bit expensive so we’ve had to stall.”

Councillor John Fox said he was a regular visitor to the market. He added: “People want to experiment with food. That’s one of the best things about having a multi-cultural society.

“But the new North Westgate food court could do damage, although if the project comes off it would be phenomenal.

“I think you’re doing a good job Gary but I would love to see the market back at Cathedral Square.”

Cllr John Okonkowski said: “They should never have dumped the market in that corner. Your best bet is having it in the centre of Peterborough.

“Who wants to go there now when you can go to a supermarket? You need some incentives to get more people there, but at least you are going in the right direction.”

The market is currently located in the area bounded by Northminster (the main entrance), Laxton Square, Cattle Market Road and Market Way.

It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8.30am to 4pm.

Cllr Lisa Forbes said: “Is there any development on making the market enclosed? I hate the cold and would avoid it in winter.

Mr Wright replied: “It’s all to do with funding. We could do a lot if we had the money.”

He then added: “You’re competing against Sainsbury’s and Queensgate, but this is nothing new. We just need that special little touch and a full blown university.”

The committee’s chair, Cllr Nazim Khan, ended the meeting by echoing earlier sentiments and telling Mr Wright he was doing a good job.