Halifax Borough Market looks to appeal to fresh generation of traders
Councillors are considering ways to enhance Halifax Borough Market’s appeal to new generations of traders.
Calderdale Council has plans under way to physically regenerate the Victorian market with some phases already completed, but it needs to work at filling empty unit space.
The council’s Cabinet Markets Working Party were considering a campaign to engage potential new businesses including feedback to early design ideas for promotional material to attract them.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Calderdale Council’s Markets Manager John Walker said the borough market was the exception as both footfall and occupancy levels had increased through the pandemic at Calderdale’s other market towns but life had been harder for the landmark Halifax town centre indoor market in terms of reduced footfall.
Briefing papers to councillors outlined longer term issues which the council sought to address.
Of the available 91 lettable spaces, 20 are currently vacant, largely due to the retirement of existing tenants and fewer people taking up available trading opportunities.
Other barriers to the effective letting of these premises have been that each vacant trading space had been developed to meet the outgoing tenants needs.
In most cases these were also vacated in a dilapidated state requiring investment from any prospective new tenant due to a lack of dilapidation funding.
Additionally, several of these units have been combined into large trading units which are not required in this format.
The combination of the investment requirement and rental charges has proven prohibitive to maintaining occupancy levels at full capacity, said the report also written by Mr Walker.