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Plans afoot to help ailing Bishop Auckland market
COUNCILLORS are hoping to secure £10,000 to help take control and relaunch Bishop Auckland’s struggling market.
The town was unsuccessful in gaining funding from the Portas Pilot scheme earlier this year, which aimed to help rejuvenate struggling town centres across the country.
However, members of Bishop Auckland Town Council have been told they can apply for about £10,000 for a specific project, which will improve the town.
The Market Place has recently been refurbished and with only a handful of stall holders trading every week at the moment, councillors believe the money could provide a welcome boost.
The idea was originally raised at a meeting of the Town Team, which is made up of residents, traders and councillors, earlier this month.
But due to the financial requirements, the group felt the council would be in the best place to manage it, and leaving event organisation, including speciality markets to them.
At a meeting of the town council on Tuesday (SEPT25), members backed the proposals, subject to the application for funding being successful.
Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Charlie Kay, said: “Subject to us being awarded with the contract, let’s make sure this does happen.”
Councillor Alan Anderson said: “I think we should make some commitment from the town council for the market.”
Councillor Barbara Laurie added that the plan was to get matching stalls and a logo and also put on speciality markets and other events.
Clive Auld, Bishop Auckland resident and Town Team member, said: “The idea is very much in its infancy and we will not be sure until we have secured the funding.
“I think it is a very exciting project to pursue and I think the Market Place deserves a decent market now.”
Bishop Auckland was one of almost 400 towns across the country to apply for a share of £1.2m to boost ailing high streets earlier this year.
However, it lost out in both rounds of funding and is now having to look for alternative ways to make improvements.