The council is inviting residents to take a survey about a plans for a new trading day for Broadway Market.
A six-week trial of a new Friday food market, held between 2pm and 8pm, began last week, and a Sunday market will be tested out for another six weeks starting in November, with a new trading day to be decided based on feedback from the online poll.
Broadway Market reopened in August to all but hot food traders, with Louise Brewood of the Association of Broadway Market Traders calling on residents at the time to “shop and go” as part of new Covid-secure measures to tackle the pandemic while keeping the iconic market open.
The council hopes the new hot food market will allow traders hard-hit by lockdown to get back to their businesses, while providing an opportunity for an extra day should the Saturday market return to normal.
Brewood, while welcoming the opportunity for these traders to return to work, raised concerns at the loss of the character of the original Saturday market through any expansion, as well as the potential impact on the neighbourhood of an increase in visitors in the summer months.
Brewood said: “As much as possible has been done to get our food traders back up and trading so that they can have their business back, and to let some local people have that, and to bring some needed variety to the market.
“My concern is that they are being used for an ulterior motive which will be detrimental in the long run to the style, uniqueness and beauty of what Saturday Broadway was. I also fear for the impact next summer on local residents.”
The council has said that the market’s expansion could help reduce crowds by spreading them out across the week.
Click It Local has also been introduced at Broadway, allowing people to shop online at the Broadway Virtual Market, which offers a local home delivery service or the option to collect purchases via a click-and-collect point just outside the market.
The market was reopened in August with a six-point Covid-secure plan.
The introduction to the council’s survey reads: “After the successful relaunch of a Covid-secure Broadway Market, the council are continuously looking for ways to further support small businesses and to stimulate the local economy.
“We are pleased to launch a 12-week trial period for a small food market separate to our Saturday’s non-food market that will retain the same Covid safety measures, whilst bringing business back to the area and driving footfall to continue to drive the local economy during these difficult times.
“Due to the large volume of support for both Friday and Sunday as the additional market date, we will be trialling both days for the duration of six weeks each.
“Friday will be trialled for the first six weeks from 2 October to 6 November and then followed by Sunday for the final six weeks from 15 November to 20 December.
“During the trial, we will be operating a concurrent engagement survey for you to provide us with your views and a separate survey for the traders in relation to footfall, income and transactional data to analyse at the end of the trial and make a decision on what we can do to further support you, your local traders/businesses and the wider community with the local economy and employment opportunities.”
You can take part in the survey here