Pebble Lane stalls could move to boost business

Stalls which have lined Pebble Lane in Wellingborough for a decade could be moved in an attempt to boost trade at the town’s market.

An action group set up by Wellingborough Council has been looking at ways to improve the Wellingborough market through its operation, marketing and publicity as well as possible changes to the surrounding environment.

As well as considering a change in the market’s layout, it has been suggested that the 14 stalls currently set-up on Pebble Lane relocate to the market itself.

Traders would have to pay £13 to set-up stall on the market place, compared to the £18 they currently have to pay in Pebble Lane.

Last September, the National Association of British Market Authorities carried out a ‘health check’ on Wellingborough’s market and commented on Pebble Lane, they told the Northants Telegraph: “Pebble Lane traders will not want to re-locate as they have a prominent link to the main thoroughfare.

“Unfortunately these stands do nothing to assist the remaining market in terms of attracting custom. This is not the fault of these traders but has resulted in the market becoming fragmented.

“The market needs to be easily accessible and compact in terms of offer.”

In December, 50 questionnaires were distributed to local market sellers. Traders completed and returned 13 forms, of which eight said they felt all stalls should be located on the market place.

Wellingborough Norse has said that while the number of Pebble Lane traders could be accommodated on the market place, they would not necessarily be given the stalls they desire.

The report containing the proposal, set to be discussed this week by the council, states there is a risk that income could be reduced if Pebble Lane traders do not wish to relocate.

However, the report also states: “An improved market could bring benefits to the local community by way of social and economic improvement.

“The historic value of the market creates a sense of place for residents and identity for the area as an ancient market town. An empty, run-down market place attracts anti-social behaviour.

“A vibrant market draws shoppers to the centre, and improved layout and promotion provide a pleasing space on non-market days.”

If the recommendation of relocating the Pebble Lane stalls is approved, traders will be informed and a notification period will be agreed with the market working group before any changes are introduced.

The proposal will be discussed by the council’s services committee at 7pm on Monday at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.

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