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Bracknell to get outdoor market later this year

Published: 13 Feb 2014 11:001 comment

BRACKNELL is set to get an outdoor market this summer, the council’s regeneration chief announced.

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This comes after nearly three in four people had voted for the demolition of the former 3M building and replace the market underneath it with a new outdoor one following a three-month public consultation.

An independent report into the consultation, carried out on behalf of Bracknell Forest Council, found nearly half of residents said they would use an outdoor facility more than the present indoor one.

An outdoor market will be set up in a temporary location in High Street, where the former bandstand used to be, in the summer, though no month has been fixed.

In the long term, following the demolition of the former 3M building, there will be a permanent outdoor market in Market Square, next to Skimped Hill Health Centre.

The council’s regeneration committee agreed at a meeting on Monday to the move to an outdoor market.

It will also surrender the market hall’s lease to enable Comer Homes, which owns the former 3M building – officially called Winchester House – to demolish it.

The council’s regeneration leader, Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, added it would also support traders in making the smooth transition to the outdoor market.

He said: “The demolition of Winchester House has been continually cited by Bracknell Forest residents as a priority and so we have been talking to Comer Homes for many months on how this can be achieved. Based on all the evidence it is clear that a new outdoor market will be welcomed by residents, with about 45% of respondents said they would be more likely to use the market if it were outdoors, and creating a new outdoor market allows for the former 3M building to be demolished, which is why we decided to surrender the lease and move the market.

“We know our decision is not welcome news for some of the existing traders, however, we are committed to supporting them as they are still trading in the indoor market and as they move to the new outdoor market later this year.”

The council has said that building a new indoor market was not financially viable.

The council confirmed it is liaising with stallholders and the market’s operator Grenchurch to discuss how to make the change to the outdoor market.

No date has been set for the closure of the indoor market, though the council has previously said the former 3M building would be demolished by November.

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