Ladies and Gentlemen,
Having Chaired the debate “Is the Grayshott Market good for Grayshott businesses and its community” I owe it to Grayshott to summaries the discussions and explain the conclusions, so that everyone is clear on what took place.
First of all I would like to thank Moray Thomas (Chairman of the Square Events Group) and in particular Tim Wicks (Grayshott Market Coordinator) and his team for the hard work they have put in over the last 2 years to make the Grayshott Market such a huge success. Thank you.
The raison d’être of the Market was to increase footfall for business and raise Grayshott’s profile in the surrounding areas. The majority agreed that it achieved both these objectives. The Market’s success however came at a cost i.e. loss of trade for some Grayshott business by up to 70% on Market days and local residents staying away due to parking problems. This clearly indicated that the Market was not good for ALL businesses and some of the community.
The following options were considered:
- Moving the Market to a Sunday or Wednesday (in the square) were considered, but discounted due to lack of trader interest, lack of a committed work force to set up, take down and clear up; and for Sundays, the impact on the residents around the Village Square and clash with Farmer’s Markets elsewhere.
- Moving the Market to the Millennium Green – discounted due to parking problems and damage to the Green.
- Moving the Market to Applegarth – discounted as it was felt that there would be no benefits to Grayshott businesses as visitors to the Market at Applegarth would leave without coming in to Grayshott.
- Reducing the Market to 4 Saturdays a year – discounted as traders needed regular markets to make it their worthwhile attending.
The conclusion of the debate was that the Market would be placed in “suspended animation” to allow the parking issue to be addressed with EHDC, GPC, business owners and the Square Events Group. Once a solution was identified, the re-start of the Market would be considered.