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Last Chance for Leamington's Ailing Market 

A new location for Leamington’s market could prove to be its final chance.

Councillors are being asked to move the weekly sale of goods from Packington Place to the area in front of All Saints Church, just over Victoria Bridge from the town centre.

With the Royal Pump Rooms attracting 500,000 people a year, more people are heading further down the Parade and the market could prove a vital link between the north and south. 

The river effectively cuts the Leamington in two, despite efforts to attract people to cross the bridge.

But the market in Old Town has dwindled away and now there are only two regular traders, and a further change of location is on the cards. 

The church has offered use of its land, which should attract a lot of passing traffic.

Cllr Margaret Begg, leader of Warwick District Council, is backing the move. She said:

“I am all in favour of a market in town and in this location it would be very visible. Everyone would know we have a market. It is very hidden away now.

“But this could be the last attempt - we could run out of places to try. The market did not work in Court Street and is dying in Packington Place - I think this really could be the last chance.

“There has been talk of other sites, but I think we want to retain it in Old Town where there has been a market for many years.

“We have held special markets in Clemens Street, but that involved a road closure and I do not think we could do that on weekdays.

“The market has been struggling and we need to support it. Warwick has the perfect site for its market, but Leamington does not real have a large open area with a hard surface and that is the problem.

“This is probably going to be our last try, and if this does not work, then I think we will have to give up and just stick to the special markets every now and again.”

Other sites suggested, north of the river, include Regent Grove and the Pump Room Gardens, but it is unlikely these suggestions will get very far.

The district council’s economic executive is recommended to approve the move at its meeting on Monday.

If the change of location proves to be permanent, then the council will also need to seek planning permission, but can hold the market on the new site for an initial 14 weeks.

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CWN / Politics / Warwick District Council / 20 Jul 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM