MID-WEEK EVENT: The town council is looking at ways of boosting Barnard Castle’s historic charter market
MID-WEEK EVENT: The town council is looking at ways of boosting Barnard Castle’s historic charter market

A SCHEME to attract more traders to Barnard Castle’s weekly Wednesday market is being planned.

Barnard Castle Town Council, which manages the market, is looking into buying its own market stall for use by prospective traders at a subsidised rate.

Under a scheme to support would-be traders, the town council would pay half the cost of the £300 stall with the other 50 per cent coming from Durham County Council.

Clerk Michael King told members of the services committee: “The equipment would be the property and responsibility of the town council, to be used by any new trader on Barnard Castle market.

“The purpose would be to enable them to operate on the market to either test their product or until such time that they are in a position to purchase a stall of their own.”

Mr King said the stall would provide a “low risk, low cost” opportunity for those wishing to try out the market.

Sam Turner

Councillors were told owning their own stall would mean the town council could also use it for its own activities, such as during the annual poppy appeal or the 1940s weekend.

Cllr Richard Child said: “It is worth considering. At the poppy appeal, it would be nice to have something a little more enclosed. It sounds a good idea.”

Cllr Kelly Blissett added: “With the events we put on, it is something that would be useful for us to have.”

Cllr John Blissett pointed out that the stall would have to be booked in advance and members agreed that a bond should be paid by those hiring the stall.

It was agreed that the town council would apply for match funding of up to £160 for the stall and if successful, a pitch fee of £10-plus bond should be charged to hirers.