Bracknell must continue to have a market, say traders
Published: 27 Oct 2013 16:301 comment
The future of the indoor market is not clear because it will have to move when the former 3M Building – under which it has been based for 40 years – is demolished to make way for new apartments and a shopping mall.
The News revealed last week that Bracknell Forest Council will start a public
consultation next month to determine its future.
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, told the News that there is no secret plan to close down the market and its options were open.
Previously, there have been plans to move the market outside when the former 3M Building is demolished.
Shirley Devine and her son Ian run Sew Devine, which has been trading for 30 years.She said: “No way can we go outside, the amount of stuff we leave here, we couldn’t pick it up and move it.”
“This is the only place we can offer the people of Bracknell a good selection, we have the
knowledge, we’re old fashioned and we stick with old ways. We will still offer a service and a smile.
“People will definitely miss it when it’s gone. You don’t realise what you have got until its gone; it’s a shame.”
Hazel Kent, manager of a cafe in the market, said: “I would say our problem is if we had to go outside, we would go out of business; you couldn’t pack up all that stock each day.”
Christine Walmsley, who has worked at the stall Lady Sew and Sew for 11 years, said: “We object to plans to move it, or put in outside, as
we keep most of our stuff here
and there’s no way we could bring that in every week.”
She added she ran sewing classes, and most of her group got their materials from the stall, but if they closed they would have to travel further afield.
“We have people coming here from a way away, how far will you have to travel to get thread and buttons if we close? It’s surprising how many people are still discovering us, Bracknell is a mobile area; lots of people are moving in and out.”
Signs have gone up around the market, which opens on Fridays and Saturdays, reassuring customers it is still open. Andy Dudman, from Priestwood, who has run a fruit and veg stall for 30 years, was optimistic that its move would not spell the end, and that some change could be a good thing.
He said: “I think to relocate us and start again could be a good thing and attract some fresh traders, but some of the traders here already wouldn’t be able to trade if it’s moved outside.
“It’s no good putting us at the back of town out of reach.”
“They have been talking about relocation for years but the people of Bracknell definitely want us; they want a market like this.
“We have been here a long time, and I’m not saying we are not thought about but we are not at the heart of regeneration plans. This isn’t the end; this town should always have a market.”
- What do you think the future should hold for Bracknell Market? Please comment below.