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Calls For Rugby Market Move

The power of the pen could force Rugby Council to change its view on the location of the town’s declining retail market.

The market traders are petitioning to move from the current site on the periphery back into the centre of town.

Frank Bochniak, chairman of the Rugby branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation, is convinced such a move is the only way to stop the market shrinking further.

Two years ago there were 120 stalls on the market.

"Now we have 45-50 on a good day," says Frank. "It is a downward spiral."

"We have been campaigning for several years to get the market moved into Sheep Street, High Street and Market Place, so named because that is where the old market used to be. The council has refused.

"But they shot themselves in the foot recently when they invited a French market to set up in the centre of town as a promotion. It was so successful that it proved our point. We will be presenting our petition of 5,000 signatures to the council leaders tomorrow."

Ian Davies, Director of Technical Services at Rugby Council, said:

"The promotion which brought the French market to Rugby encouraged the existing market traders to renew their efforts and I have no doubt that the council will now wish to appraise the situation.

"It is by no means a straightforward matter to move however. The existing stalls are permanent structures. If we moved the market the stalls would have to be capable of being dismantled. To buy those would cost 60,000-70,000. It would also be necessary to install washing facilities for food handling stalls, electricity and power compactor skips.

"There is also a legal problem. The places mentioned by the traders are designated public highways and it would be illegal to use them for a permanent market.

"The council also has to look at its vision of the town centre. From the traders viewpoint, to move the market is probably the right thing to do, but the council has to consider what is for the good of the town."

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Arts Alive - 29 May to 3 July 1999

CWN / Politics / Rugby Borough Council / 25 June 99

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