Market Futures

March 19, 2010

The announcement of plans to demolish and maybe rebuild Leicester’s indoor market comes a few days after reports of the difficulties faced by the city’s Farmer’s Market, relaunched last year on the first Thursday of the month.  Fees appear to have increased from nothing in the old covered market to some £475 a few yards away on Humberstone Gate. In April they have to shift around the corner because of an event by a religious group.

Interim plans are for the indoor market to relocate to stalls outside with refrigerated units, described tantalisingly in the Leicester Mercury as  “similar to those in London’s Borough market”.  It’s a bit much to expect foodie destination-shopping of that variety,  but I do at least hope that somewhere within Leicester City Council someone has a long view here to developing a thriving local food economy.  The indoor market is indeed rather shabby and retailers and suppliers both  here and at the Farmer’s Market need reassurance that they will be supported in bringing quality local produce to city centre shoppers. Food festival - Leicester Market

The fish, meat and cheese retailers at the indoor market can be  mainstream alternatives to supermarket shopping. Events such as last November’s food festival (being repeated twice this year) suggest there is an interest and demand beyond for more specialist stuff too. Both sectors  needs a permanent and attractive environment if they are to thrive.

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