Residents and traders are being asked to play a key role in shaping the future of Kendal’s indoor and outdoor markets.
South Lakeland District (SLDC), which operates the markets, has started a comprehensive consultation with market traders, local business owners, the public, Kendal BID, Kendal Futures, the National Market Traders’ Federation (NMTF) and other stakeholders to develop plans to improve Kendal Market.
Residents will be asked questions on the use of the markets, such as how often they visit the markets, whether they are visiting more or less than a year ago, and how they would rate the markets on variety and quality of stalls, service, trading hours/days, location/layout and cleanliness. They will also be asked what would encourage them to use the markets more and what type of stalls they would like to see.
Traders will be asked for their opinions on whether the current hours meet customer needs, how they would like to see the markets improved and what they see as the priority issues for the markets.
The consultation will be in the form of face-to-face meetings with traders and the public, online surveys and drop-in sessions to be held in Kendal Town Hall. Alongside this, SLDC’s property service provider, Lambert Smith Hampton, is undertaking an assessment of the markets to draw up a list of possible options for the future.
The feedback and consultation responses will help the council determine the best way forward. It is hoped to develop and start a plan of action in the new financial year.
Councillor Graham Vincent, portfolio holder for the economy and assets, said: “The markets are an important asset to the town. They should be celebrated and we are committed to helping them to thrive.
“The results of the survey will be used to help us with planning the next stage of the improvements and ensure that the markets are an integral part of the community for many years to come.”
A letter sent to traders by SLDC explaining the process said: “Please be assured that none of this means there is a threat to the future operation of the market. On the contrary, this exercise is about putting the market on a secure footing for the future.
“SLDC is committed to working with you all to help create a successful market that the town can be proud of.”
Kendal’s street market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The indoor market is open six days a week.
The survey can be completed online at www.southlakeland.gov.uk/consultations. If anybody has any queries, would like to request additional copies of the survey or would like help taking part, they can contact SLDC’s corporate asset manager, Sion Thomas, on 01539 733 333.