Artisan market plan for Buxton criticised

Buxton Market Place
Buxton Market Place

Plans for two artisan markets to be held in Buxton this summer have been slammed by a long-standing trader.

High Peak Borough Council and Buxton Town Team are working in partnership with the Market Company on a trial for the markets in June along Spring Gardens and July on the Market Place.

The authority hopes the scheme will breathe new life into the rapidly declining market, but a long-standing trader believes it could have a negative impact on both the town’s existing market, and local shops.

The trader, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m told that a new market is going to breathe fresh air into Spring Gardens.

“Surely if the old market had been supported instead of being ignored, there would have been plenty of fresh air anyway.”

The council said the markets would then be reviewed and assessed.”

The trader continued: “In the 1990s the High Peak markets were making £60,000 for the council per year but they became uninteresting to councillors as the money was taken out of this and rarely put back in so by not helping, the market has declined. Weather patterns have also got worse.”

And suggestions that in Wilmslow trade had increased for shops as a result of artisan markets was not totally true, they added: “It was reported in the Wilmslow newspaper that trade on a Saturday declined because the shops were being ignored by shoppers.

“I just wonder, is the same thing going to happen in Spring Gardens as in Wilmslow when Buxton is in a sorry state already with shops closing?

“The town team’s heart is in the right place for Buxton and I do support most of their ideas but not all so I would have thought you would improve on what you have already got and not take a risk with other people’s livelihoods.”

A spokesperson for High Peak Borough Council said: “The council recognises that a popular, healthy market stimulates public interest and increases the number of traders and customers which, in turn, helps to support local shops and businesses.

“In line with national trends, income and traders at markets in the High Peak have declined over the last ten years and the council is keen to address this.

“These two market events will be reviewed and assessed by the council and the Town Team to help agree a way forward for the market in Buxton.

“Subject to authorisation, this also fits in with council plans to engage third party suppliers to take responsibility for outdoor markets in the High Peak with a view to developing their profile and increasing trader and customer numbers.”

Proposals to relocate the market from Higher Buxton to another location in the town will also be considered as part of the review, the council said.