Wellington could have a regular outdoor street market within a few weeks. After months of negotiations, planning and licensing officials have given the go-ahead for the Farmer’s Market to move outside on to the wide pavement area in front of the former Post Office.
The market currently operates twice a month on a Saturday morning in the Scout Hall behind the Co-op supermarket. Stallholders are meeting this weekend to make a decision on whether to make a move to the great outdoors.
“I think it would be fantastic for the market to be held out on the High Street. It’s exactly what the town needs and should bring more custom for everyone, but I know that one or two traders are wary,” said one regular stallholder, who asked to remain unnamed.
“The likelihood is that that there could be a Farmer’s Market out on the pavement as soon as June 15th,” said town councillor Dave Mitton, who has been a key player in the negotiations with Taunton Deane council.
“An outdoor market was an integral part of the plan when we were drawing up the Food Town campaign for Wellington several years ago,” he added. “I think it could make an enormous difference to the town. There have been issues with licensing, planning and highways but now we’ve cleared those hurdles.”
Michael Coate, butcher and chairman of the Market, declined to comment on the possible move. Similar sized towns to Wellington, such as Honiton and Bridport, have enormously successful street markets which act as a significant draw for regular shops.
“They’re coming out for the summer months. It remains to be seen what happens when the cold weather comes,” added Dave Mitton. Some years ago the town council paid for stallholders to be equipped with large gazebos in the expectation of an outdoor market coming into play in the future.