BURTON’S MP has proposed a unique idea to try to boost the number of traders at the town’s newly refurbished Market Hall – by offering stallholders a six months free trial.
Andrew Griffiths proposed the plan to East Staffordshire Borough Council after visiting the site only days after it reopened.
He told the Mail that making the site a success was “vital” to boosting businesses and the economy in the town.
He said: “I have visited the new-look market and I am now calling on the council to kick start the site by offering free pitches to stallholders for six months.
“This would make the Market Hall appealing to people from out of the area and push them into coming to Burton and giving it a go.
“It would like the hall to be filled up and, as a result, see more trade heading into the town.
“A successful market will boost the whole town from businesses to the economy as a whole.
“I think that this kind of plan could be the boost that it needs and would benefit everyone.”
The Market Hall has only recently reopened after a £1.6 million revamp that took more than 10 months.
Many of the fixed stalls remained empty for the grand opening, and the ‘pop-up’ stalls in the middle of the hall were unoccupied.
Criticism has been aimed at the council for not attracting enough stallholders, a claim that they deny and say they are working “tirelessly” to make the site a success.
Leader of the council Julian Mott said: “It’s a shame that the MP has not contacted the council to find out the good deals traders have been offered by the council to attract new business.
“Because these matters are commercially sensitive it is disappointing that the MP did not use the opportunity to put forward his idea when we met last week.
“The previous Conservative leadership did nothing to retain the then traders.
“If he contacts me again, I will update him.”
Mr Griffiths responded by saying to the Mail that he had mentioned the idea to council chiefs but is sending a detailed brief of the plan to them in the coming days.