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'Move Eastgate Market to Gloucester Docks' says docks trader David Purchase

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

Eastgate Market

Comments (14)

SHOULD Eastgate Market be moved to Gloucester Docks to save the area from being overlooked by visitors?

David Purchase, who runs On Toast in the Main Basin, certainly thinks so.

A new home is currently being sought for the indoor market to make way for the arrival of TK Maxx later this year.

Mr Purchase has said introducing a market at the Docks would restore it to its original purpose – a trading area.

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The Main Basin was opened in 1827 – but Mr Purchase believes a market could make it buzzing once again. He said: “2013 has seen great improvements to the Docks yet the basin has been left for discovery without signs.

“One of the most picturesque parts of Gloucester is often overlooked by a number of the visitors who are attracted to the events staged by Gloucester Quays.

“Gloucester City Council is aware of this hidden treasure but seems to fail to shout loudly about it. What the basin is in need of is an attraction all year around.

“Much debate has taken place recently following the announcement that TK Maxx is to set up stall on the site of the indoor market.

“One possible site for relocation not yet discussed is that of Gloucester Docks main basin. This might be a controversial site for some, but it would return the Docks to its main purpose – that of trading.”

The ground floor of the Lock Warehouse, which remains empty, has been suggested as a possible location, as have the empty shops at the Merchant Quay warehouse.

Beautician Heather James, who has recently moved her business the Relaxation Den from the Docks to the city centre, said: “I find the footfall is much better in the city centre. The market should stay here because people won’t want to walk all the way to the Docks, especially the older people who use the market. They just won’t go that far.”

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: “This is an interesting idea and I am always happy for suggestions. It may well be the case that some sort of market would work in the spaces David suggests, but my view is that the market needs to stay in the city centre. All the options we are looking at are based on this.”

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  • Walker100b  |  January 05 2014, 10:13AM

    Jas37, I have commented on here many times about the potential for a market and have suggested it as an alternative for King Square. Until The Quays Gloucester had nothing to offer as a "destination". It was an identical shopping experience to so many other places. Cribbs, Cabot and Swindon were doing well but we had nothing of real value to offer. I admit to being one of the critics when The Quays opened (and still question their stated 4 million visitor figures). The market at Norwich is a "destination". People quite literally visit from all over East Anglia. It is a bright and vibrant visitor attraction and something very similar could have given Gloucester something that was unique. It would also have meant that we would retain a large open public space in the heart of the city should we have wanted one. Alas, the council has gone for the same bland shops that will offer nothing new. http://tinyurl.com/nhqa7s5

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  • jas37  |  January 04 2014, 11:12AM

    Walker100b, I think you will find the On Toast in the Docks is trading healthily but I suspect the one at Matson was nowhere near as successful. The Docks may not be an ideal location for the Eastgate Market traders but far more should be made of its potential as an attraction. Perhaps the City Council can inform us what they are currently doing to bring attractions and appropriate businesses into the Docks? As with any ambitious local Authority they must surely have a strategy for such a Prime area.

  • SandraPee  |  January 04 2014, 10:29AM

    The city council has always been pretty short sighted in the past and the classic example was letting Robert Opie move on to bigger and better things rather than recognising what they had and what a huge attraction we had on our doorstep . He moved to Notting Hill and has also gone global ! Silly, silly Gloucester . Nostalgia is a mega industry and would have generated enormous numbers of footfall , ongoing . To contemplate moving the indoor market to the Quays/ Docks area might, once again be short sighted and detrimental to the city centre itself . The city council must remember that it has a large number of older residents who have different needs from the younger generations and these needs must be recognised and taken into account when contemplating alterations to the city centre shopping areas .

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  • Walker100b  |  January 04 2014, 8:51AM

    I see the credit rating of On Toast and On Toast Gateway, Dave's businesses, have fallen. Now, I wonder why he wants a greater footfall in the area. Perhaps you should have opened your outlet where the people were Dave, rather than expect them coming to you over the other side of the docks where, to be honest, they can't even see you. Have you ever marketed anything else? (titter)

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  • jas37  |  January 04 2014, 12:09AM

    The Robert Opie Museum is the most often mentioned. They stated that they were interesting in moving back to Gloucester a couple of years ago but apparently failed to agree terms with the Waterways Museum. The 2 lower floors of Phillpotts Warehouse are vacant (and in the custody of the City Council) and are ideal for this sort of attraction. Alternatively an Art Gallery,Museum another Antiques Centre, specialist retailer, Arts& Craft Centre etc. The ground floor of the Lock Warehouse and Merchant's Quay are all empty and ideal locations, their potential should not be wasted. On the back of the Quays there is a great opportunity to establish the Docks as a major visitor attraction but there appears to be a total lack of vision and ambition displayed by the City Council.

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  • JemmyWood  |  January 03 2014, 10:49PM

    Any suggestions on a suitable visitor attractions?

  • jas37  |  January 03 2014, 9:50PM

    This report highlights one blatant fact- the City Council have totally neglected the Docks and appear to lack the vision and ambition to make the most of the Docks as a visitor attraction. According to the results of the City Council's own survey the Quays and Docks draw far more visitors to Gloucester than any other attraction. Peel have displayed a huge amount of vision and ambition and invested at least £200m in developing the Quays- what have the Council done to match these ambitions. There is a noticeable lack of visitor attractions in the area around the main Dock basin and 3 buildings with ideally located floor space for visitor attractions. What are the City Council and the Canal and River Trust currently doing to recruit suitable visitor attractions to this location?

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  • billfoster  |  January 03 2014, 6:31PM

    Why cannot tkmax go to the docks

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  • MrGarnet  |  January 03 2014, 6:31PM

    Wy don't TK Maxx go to the Docks? The market it in a perfect place and I use it for several things. Not sure about TK Maxx went into 2 of their stores elsewhere and was not impressed! Each to their own though!

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  • zalapompadoo  |  January 03 2014, 6:28PM

    i agree it is the most stupid idea why not let tkmaxx go to the docks and keep our market in the city centre it makes much more sense, shoppers like not just to visit the market but other shops within the area why are the council keen to kick out oor market .

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