Matlock’s model market wows the nation

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The runaway success of Matlock’s outdoor market means it is to be used as a model for other markets both in the local area and nationally.

The community embraced the outdoor market when it was launched in Hall Leys Park in May this year, following months of hard work by Matlock Town team, with the help of the town, district and county councils.

Now Derbyshire County Council is so pleased with the progress of the market, it wants to use it as an example of best practice for other towns across the county.

Not only that, the town team has been working with national organisation the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) with regards to using Matlock as an model for markets across the country.

Rob Short, chairman of Matlock Town Team, said: “One of the biggest differences in Matlock outdoor market is the fact that it is run essentially by a private company.

“With the best intentions in the world councils don’t have the people to go out and get new businesses.”

He gave the example of Bakewell, saying that while it was still a great market, often had gaps and duplication in stalls.

Rob added that the town team worked hard to make sure Matlock had a good variety of stalls offering a variety of goods that people want to buy.

The initial ten–week trial period over, the market will continue with its current operating hours for the time being – Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm.

Rob explained that the group was currently working on its autumn and winter campaign, looking at ways of keeping the market going through the colder weather by having shorter contracts for traders and looking for stalls selling items which thrive in winter, for example the Derbyshire Pyclet Company, which is already lined up for a stall.

The town team is currently producing a report for the county council on the market to help the authority use it as an example for other markets in the area.

Matlock councillor Andy Botham said: “The market has become a success as predicted and it’s grown possibly more than I think anybody could have expected.

“We’re working to see if a similar thing would work in towns throughout Derbyshire to revive town centre and attract people and create employment and a better environment for the people of the local area.”

He explained that the council did not have the staffing to micro–manage the outdoor market, adding that the traders had the business experience, making them better suited to the task.

“I’m really pleased and I’d like to thank all the people involved for making it work and people for turning up and supporting it,” Cllr Botham said.