Restoring a Minehead market to its original home could boost town's trade (From This is The West Country)
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Restoring a Minehead market to its original home could boost town's trade
A REVOLUTIONARY scheme to split up one of Minehead’s most iconic buildings could help regenerate trade in the town, a businessman hopes.
The Market House building, in The Parade, became the town’s latest high profile empty shop after The 99p Shop closed down earlier this year.
Leaseholder Tyrone Gunter believes renting the building out in ten distinct sections could help small businesses get off the ground, while giving shoppers some variety in a building which is dear to townspeople’s hearts.
He said: “There are lots of shops in Minehead closing down because people can’t afford rents and overheads so we hope this will give small-scale traders or people with a business idea a foot in the door without huge financial commitment.
“It would also be nice to get a variety of things in there so there is something for everyone in one place.
“We want people in the town to tell us what they want – we are happy to respond to feedback.”
Spots in the building, which closed its doors as a market more than a decade ago, can be hired on a flexible basis – daily, weekly or even monthly – for £20- £25 a day.
Minehead Town Council, which owns the building, has voiced support for the idea.
Mayor of Minehead Cllr Tony Berry said: “I think it’s excellent. It would be nice to see the building restored to what it originally was.
“It is an ideal place for a market and after all, anything thatfills empty shops can only be a good thing.”
Graham Sizer, chair of Minehead Chamber of Commerce told the County Gazette: “A lot of people feel that the market should go back to where it was – it would be lovely to see it there again. This building is special to people in the town.
“I have been talking to the Farmers’ Market to see if they would be interested in going in there but they want to stay where they are.
“When we have got empty shops in the high street it seems a bit silly to blockThe Parade on a Friday and upset traffic when wehave this building available.
“There is a lot of space in there and it would also be nice to see budding entrepreneurs and traders using it to dip their toe in the water.
"A pannier market or the like would be a great draw for visitors. It would certainly be good for Minehead – any shop re-opening is positive.”
Mr Sizer added: “We think two or three of the town's empty shops will be occupied shortly so it is not all doom and gloom.”
Anyone interested in taking up a spot at the Market House should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01643-709111.