Residents and businesses are to be asked their views on the introduction of a new market in Burslem.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council will actively engage with local people in the coming weeks to gauge their support for a market in the town.
This follows a string of initiatives and investments that the council has introduced at established markets in other towns in the city to support local traders and help boost the economy. It comes at a time when local group Our Burslem has spoken in favour of a market in the town.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “The council supports the potential for a market in Burslem, and we want to hear the views of local people and also businesses.
“We are engaging with the community and to groups like Our Burslem who are passionate about the town.”
The council has supported a range of investments in Burslem to help the town’s economy. This includes securing £10m from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund earlier this year to clear and make development-ready nine redundant sites in the town, so that new homes can be built.
The council has invested £500,000 in improving the public open space next to the town hall, making it a welcoming area for the community, and has worked to bring the historic town hall building back into constructive use as a sixth form academy – attracting hundreds of students into the town centre.
The authority has successfully administered £11.3m Townscape Heritage Initiative funding – one of only two towns in the country to have secured three waves of funding from the scheme. The money has restored historic shop frontages in the town and supported the preservation of heritage buildings.
The council has also completed a £2m Lottery-funded restoration of Burslem Park, renewing terracotta gardens and views described one hundred years ago in classic books by the city’s most famous author and playwright, the Burslem-born Arnold Bennett.
The authority has also worked to support Middleport Pottery – less than a mile from the centre of Burslem – in staging a display of the iconic 14-18 Now programme’s ceramic poppies, in commemoration of the centenary of the First World War – which will bring thousands of visitors to the area when it launches in August. Thousands of the ceramic poppies in the stunning displays, which have been seen by millions of people and are making a tour of the country, were created and fired in Stoke-on-Trent.
Cabinet support member Alan Dutton, who is ward member for Burslem Central, said: “There is a lot of really positive work taking place in Burslem, work that is aimed at boosting footfall in the town and helping the economy to flourish.
“Burslem is a great town, with a fantastic heritage. It is more than a decade now since Burslem had its own market. We know that some groups in the town are already keen for a market to be reintroduced. To make a market a success would require the whole town coming together and giving it their support.”
Details of how the community engagement will be managed will be announced soon.
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.