THREE years of city centre markets have been secured for Gloucester.
A monthly craft market, speciality markets and night markets will be run throughout the year thanks to a new deal struck by the community-led Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership.
The markets will also promote new business start-ups, allowing up to five free stalls for people wanting to try out a new venture.
Matthew Stevens, from the community partnership, said: “We want to offer it as a testing ground for people who want to try out a new business but perhaps don’t want to take the financial risk of opening a new shop straightaway.
“Don’t forget that M&S and Tesco started out as market stalls. There is definitely a rich history coming from tghe humble market stall.”
They are also promising high-quality products in a bid to replicate the markets of the continent.
“Some of the markets in Gloucester have not been particularly high quality,” said Mr Stevens. “We want to take a leaf out of the continent’s book where markets have been traditional about the freshest fish and artisan breads rather than cheap, low quality clothing.”
The markets will also be boosted by fresh entertainment, funded by a £13,500 grant from Gloucester City Council, who have also awarded the three year market licence.
Entertainment will include good quality buskers, jugglers, a band and family-orientated entertainers more akin to London’s South Bank.
The markets have been welcomed by city council leader Paul James after a trial series of markets at the end of 2013 was well received by the public.
Mr James said: “Markets are a very important part of our city’s offer as one of the historic market cities.
“Having a range of markets will provide a good offering.
“The city centre partnership already made a good start on it last year and I can see their role growing in the future.
“There are a lot of opportunities for voluntary and community organisations to play a role in the delivery of more services and this is an example of that.”