‘More needs to be done to bridge gap’

Gainsborough Market Place G110830-7b
Gainsborough Market Place G110830-7b

IT WAS one year ago this week that Gainsborough’s Market Place re-opened after a £3 million makeover - so we spoke to stallholders about whether life has improved.

The multi-million pound development took over eight months to complete.

But now, one year on, market traders say that trade is steady, but more needs to be done to bring people back into Gainsborough town centre and spending money.

Paula Truswell has held her lingerie and hosiery stall at Gainsborough market for over 32 years.

“Although the new Market Place looks nice, it’s not all that practical when you’re stood here all day,” she said. “Plus, it holds a lot of water when it rains and there are still problems with the electrics, the smell of sewage and I’ve tripped on these cobbles no end of times.”

She added: “We stopped coming for the Saturday market four years ago because of the youth element. I think that when they were originally planning it, they should have spent more money on policing and security because the kids just use it as a playground..”

Flynn Harding from Flynn’s Fruits said: “It’s been getting back to normal over the last year. The council have offered traders cheaper rents, and they seem to be doing their bit to encourage people back in the town centre, even with Marhshall’s Yard.”

“But with Marshall’s Yard it feels like we have two town centres instead of one.”

Anthony Barnes works for his uncle on Barnes cake stall.

“Generally business has slowed down in the Market Place,” he said. “There is an element of competition from Marshall’s Yard, but at the same time, they are attracting a lot more people into Gainsborough in the first place. But people would like to see more done to bridge the gap and bring people into the town centre.”

A WLDC spokesperson said: “West Lindsey District Council strives hard to attract new businesses into the town centre.”

“We hope we will be able to announce major new investments into the town in the coming months. We also regularly promote the town centre at various events throughout the country.”

He added: “With regards some of the issues raised by market traders – this is the first time it has been brought to our attention but we will do our best to look into the issues.”

Marshalls Yard spokesman Amanda Holmes said: “Our own research shows that shoppers come to Marshalls Yard and use the shops and facilities in all parts of the town,” she said.

“We are very proud to be part of Gainsborough and our team at The Yard work with many stakeholders and local groups to promote the town as a whole both regionally and nationally, and we also work together on many events and initiatives which bring people into the town.”