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.
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.”