Bracknell Market to stop trading

18 April 2017

Bracknell Market's last trading day outside Princess Square will be Saturday, 29 April.

Unfortunately, the current market operator (Cotswold Markets) has decided to withdraw from running Bracknell Market from the end of April.

The council has looked at alternative ways of keeping the market open over the past few months but due to a limited number of stallholders and limited trade it is currently not possible.

The council cannot run the market without a trusted operator as it needs to ensure all financial, legal and other day-to-day operations are carried out correctly. Given the market’s dwindling trade it is unlikely another market operator would come forward to run Bracknell Market in its current form.

Despite the council's on-going support of the market, including financial subsidies, and the market's relocation to a busier area, it has suffered from falling trade over the past few years and has seen stallholders fall to a low of just two regulars.

Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said: "I’m saddened that Bracknell Market will be closing at the end of April as it has been a long-standing feature of our town centre.

“Our current operator terminated its contract and given there are just two regular stallholders it is very unlikely another operator would want to come forward and take on the contract. Finding and procuring a trusted market operator is not an easy or quick process.

“We have subsidised the market, moved it to a busier location and promoted it where possible but despite this it has still suffered from falling trade.

“Additionally, we have been looking at alternative options and have been in discussion with the two regular stallholders. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a viable solution at the moment but the conversations are continuing.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it will enable us to really scope out what we do going forward in our newly regenerated town centre, which has a market planned for Market Square."

Bracknell Market has been subsidised by Bracknell Forest Council by more than £40,000 since 2010. The number of stallholders has fallen from 13, on average, in 2013/14 to just two regulars in 2017.

The market was moved from the basement of Winchester House in 2014 so the building could be demolished and the site comprehensively redeveloped. It was then sited in Bracknell High Street until 2016 when it moved to its current position outside Princess Square.

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