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Market needs support from shoppers in order to survive

South Elmsall Market
South Elmsall Market

South Elmsall Market needs the backing of shoppers and serious investment to survive, according to a town councillor.

Coun Ann Westmorland said the market was well-loved by residents but was a shadow of its former self after falling into disrepair.

Coun Ann Westmorland.

Coun Ann Westmorland.

She said: “It is verging on the ridiculous. It’s a shame for the stallholders it needs a lot of help from Wakefield Council.

“It needs more cameras and it needs brightening up. There’s a lot of work that needs doing.

“There are quite a few stallholders left but it the number is dwindling. There are a few new ones who keep trying. That’s just the feeling in the town, we love the market but its dying.”

Stallholder Barry Kellock has traded at the market for 25 years but has considered leaving. He said: “It’s a really drastic situation. It’s not even half a market if you put all the stalls together. There is a knock-on effect, fewer people come and then traders stop coming. If it got any worse I would have to think about calling it a day.”

South Elmsall Market

South Elmsall Market

Coun Westmorland said the stalls needed to be painted and cleaned, while stand rental fees and parking charges should be lowered.

Julie Russell, service director for culture and sport at the council, said: “Many people value their local market. But as shopping habits have changed, with out-of-town retail and online shopping growing in popularity, many markets up and down the country, including South Elmsall, face significant challenges.

“We are currently looking at potential developments for the market and will be engaging traders about ideas for supporting the market moving forward.

“We have introduced a number of initiatives including a business start-up scheme to help new traders to become established and a business expansion scheme giving existing traders the option to expand.

South Elmsall Market

South Elmsall Market

“We rely on residents too, to keep visiting to show their support for their local market.”