New street market in bid to revitalise Oswestry
A street market will be launched as a town plans to woo people back to traditional shopping.
Oswestry is fighting back against a move to internet and superstore shopping by portraying its markets as a shopping and leisure experience.
Live music and family entertainment will be part of the first Saturday market that will be trialled in the historic market town.
The outdoor Saturday market, currently held on the Bailey Head, will move into nearby Bailey Street from August 19.
It is based on the successful Artisan Market which currently runs on the same street on the last Friday of every month. Up to 10 gazebos will be place in the busy hillside shopping area.
Markets and events manager David Clough said: “The plan is to attract some new traders as well as relocating some existing ones, bringing a mixture of traditional goods and various food stalls.
“What is pleasing is that already established businesses within the town are planning on having regular stalls.”
Over the last two decades the number of stalls at Oswestry’s outdoor markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays has slumped.
In the 1990s there could be just under 100 stalls at the outdoor market on a Wednesday.
Today the figure is fewer than than 20. However, Oswestry has retained both its outdoor and indoor markets unlike many neighbouring towns. The indoor market has more than 50 stalls.
Town clerk David Preston said: “The markets remain very important to Oswestry for employment, for supporting the local economy, for tourism and for being an important social experience.”
The new street market opening coincides with planning applications for restaurants and take-aways in the town.
At a recent Oswestry Town Council planning meeting councillors welcomed plans for a new Italian restaurant in Church Street and a hot food takeaway in Willow Street.
A major food festival draws thousands of visitors to Oswestry over two days in June.