The Cabinet Member with the Economy Portfolio introduced the report of the Chief Executive (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the release of capital funds for the further development of the traditional trading area located in the Victorian Indoor Market.
The submitted report stated that in 2017 the Council entered a lease/partnership agreement with Market Asset Management Ltd (MAM) for the management, refurbishment of the Victorian Indoor Market and the management and improvement of Darlington’s outdoor market; the refurbishment of the indoor market commenced in 2021; outlined the work that been undertaken to date; the challenges that were affecting the future sustainability of the traditional indoor market; and stated that a plan had been developed in order to address those challenges for the further development of the traditional trading area of the indoor market.
It was reported that the overall objective of the next phase was to establish a long-term sustainable tenant mix which sought to achieve a consistent service and quality offer throughout the market; to develop ‘customer hot spots’, which specialised in promotions; to introduce new offers, including speciality food, quality fashion accessories, art and crafts and modern services into the market to ensure that the public perceived change; to promote an environment of self-improvement and diversification of the existing and new traders; and to create opportunities to promote the market via specialist offers and events.
Discussion ensued on the importance to the town of the indoor market; the mix of traders located in the market; the importance of retaining that mix; the loss of traders; and the management of the market and traders by Market Asset Management Ltd (MAM).
RESOLVED – (a) That the proposals, as set out in the submitted report for the improvements to the Victorian Indoor Market, be approved.
(b) That the release of £800,000 from the Tees Valley Combined Authority Indigenous Growth Fund, be approved.
REASON - To contribute to the ongoing commitment to the full refurbishment of the Victorian Indoor Market which will have a positive impact upon the economic wellbeing and vitality of the Town Centre.