Oswestry market's move onto streets a step closer

Oswestry's outdoor market could be a step closer to moving into the town’s streets next week.

Oswestry market, with the Guildhall on the left
Oswestry market, with the Guildhall on the left

The town council has applied to Shropshire Council for permission to set up stalls in Bailey Street each Wednesday and Saturday. Currently the market is based on the Bailey Head.

In recent months the number of traders setting up their stalls in Oswestry has declined and the council hopes that the new venue will give the market a new lease of life.

It is working with the Business Improvement District project to find ways of offering more to shoppers to attract them to Oswestry.

A report prepared for Shropshire Council’s north planning committee, which meets next Tuesdayon April 25, says the aim is to attract new visitors and improve the town centre generally.

The report from Shropshire Council officer Janet Davies states: “The current Wednesday and Saturday outdoor markets on Horsemarket and Bailey Head have been severely affected by the increasing trend for internet shopping and other competition.

“This has had a knock-on effect on the number of customers using the indoor market.” The town council has trialled an artisan market on Bailey Street and New Street on the last Friday of each month since June 2016 which has proved popular.

The report states: “This has been successful in drawing shoppers into the full length of Bailey Street, Bailey Head and the indoor market.”

The town council has consulted with traders in Bailey Street and New Street, the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce and the Oswestry BID group, with most generally supportive of the proposals.

Shropshire councillors will be told that the markets would take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am and 5pm, as well as the last Friday of the month, although the town council is asking for some flexibility for special events and bank holidays.

The report states that the market would be made up of normal stalls together with some gazebo-type stalls. It also concludes that, subject to conditions, the changes would be expected to provide a boost to the number of visitor numbers to the town.

It states: “It is considered that the anticipated increase in visitor and shopper numbers could contribute to the overall vitality and viability of the town centre and as such could help to secure the upkeep of existing premises to the benefit of the character and appearance of the designated area as a whole.”

Planning officers are recommending that the application is approved. with the report stating: “It is considered that the proposed extension of the outdoor market into Bailey Street and New Street would be beneficial to the future of the indoor and outdoor markets and for trade within the wider town centre.”

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