West Lancashire Borough Council is helping Ormskirk Market traders by freezing rental charges for stalls for a further 12 months.
The Council’s Cabinet has agreed not to implement a previously agreed five per cent rise which was due to come into force from 1 April 2014. This means the authority has not raised these charges since April 2012.
Market stall holders had complained to the Council about reduced takings during the early part of this year, when trade was affected by poor weather.
Council staff have been meeting with them to discuss ways they can help. Traders had asked that charges for taking out additional stall space to be removed. This was discussed at the Cabinet meeting. However, as this would not have helped every stall holder, members decided to freeze the rental charges at their current level so all traders would benefit.
Councillor Martin Forshaw, portfolio holder for Planning and Development, attended many of the meetings with traders.
He said: “The Council has listened to the traders’ concerns and come up with a scheme that will help all of them. Rental charges for Ormskirk Market are competitive with other markets in the North West that have the same operating constraints. The market continues to be a very popular attraction for shoppers across the region and we believe our decision to freeze charges will help all traders financially in 2014.”
The decision means that permanent traders will continue to be charged £25.30 per week for a stall, and casual traders will pay £27.80.
This will save all traders a combined total of £12,500 next year, as opposed to the £9,900 reduction in costs which would have assisted only those traders who pay for additional space.
The Council will look at the additional space charges to ensure they are fair and consistent across the market.
With around 100 stalls Ormskirk Market has a terrific range of goods on offer. Food stalls sell fresh breads, homemade pies, cheese, olives, and fresh fish, meat and vegetables. Visitors will also find clothing stalls, flowers, cards, and hardware.
The market is open for business each Thursday and Saturday from 8.00am-4.30pm during March to October and 8.00am-4.00pm November to February.