Crewe outdoor market will return to the newly refurbished Lyceum Square, Cheshire East Council has announced today.
The move back, on Monday, November 15, will be well in time for the Christmas rush and will be celebrated with a host of events and activities around the town in the following weeks. (See the Crewe Chronicle next week for full details)
The return honours the undertaking made to the traders by the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council. A recent survey shows that clear support remains for Lyceum Square as the Market’s permanent home.
The announcement comes after hundreds of shoppers and market traders in Crewe took part in a survey to establish if the return to Lyceum Square should be reconsidered.
Outdoor market traders were moved temporarily to Market Square earlier this year to allow for a complete revitalisation and refurbishment of Lyceum Square.
Cheshire East Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “The original plan for this huge investment was designed prior to the creation of Cheshire East Council and made a firm commitment that the outdoor market would move back to Lyceum Square.
“However, following successful trading in Market Square, we felt the need to take wider soundings – asking traders and shoppers their opinions on whether the outdoor market should return to Lyceum Square. We have to establish what is best for the economic viability of Crewe and the views of its traders and customers are an essential ingredient in this recipe for success.”
An independent market research team conducted surveys from October 20-22 and again on October 30. A total of 377 people have been surveyed, including all the outdoor and indoor market stall holders. The survey also involved retailers on Market Square. Of the shoppers surveyed at the outdoor market, 80% were from Crewe.
Councillor Menlove added: Overall, there is a clear indication from everyone, shoppers, nearby retailers and the market traders themselves that this is the right decision. Overall 59% of people either wanted the return or had no preference.
“We felt it essential that the move back happened well before Christmas to allow all the market traders every opportunity to have a prosperous trading period in the run up to the festivities.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in these surveys. This was about approaching the issue of Crewe market in an open and honest manner – listening to the people of Crewe as a whole. We must find the best solution to help Crewe grow, develop and be sustainable.
“I obviously recognise that not everyone will be happy with the result, but I am confident that the result correctly reflects the wishes of Crewe as a whole -shoppers, retailers and most importantly both indoor and outdoor traders. Indeed the Market Traders Committee is 100 per cent behind the return and back to business as usual.”