The Grayshott Market Debate

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.

Square Market 1024First 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Moving the Market to the Millennium Green – discounted due to parking problems and damage to the Green.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Kind regards

Mani

3 thoughts on “The Grayshott Market Debate

  1. Gillian Rawcliffe

    If The market is suspended for any length of time you will lose all your stallholders- they won’t hang about waiting for us to make our minds up. It will be very difficult to restart market after that as new stallholders will be aware it worked for 2 years and then stopped and will be suspicious of the reasons e.g. Unsuccessful. There is another alternative. How about running the market from 1 till 5 in the afternoon on a Saturday which would not disturb a residence and leave local people to shop in the morning- as most people do their shopping Saturday mornings in the village. But I feel that if we don’t maintain the market this year we will lose it forever

  2. Cliff Winckless

    The loss of the market is a real shame because it was both a great meeting place with interesting traders and, for us at least, was an additional reason to go into Grayshott, not just for Sainsbury and Co-op. We have visited over 50% of the market days and have had no problem at all parking. It is a surprise that shopkeepers have seen a loss of trade on Market Days, especially as the market stalls do not compete with local shops. I wonder if any dip in trade on Market Days is not just displaced to other days. Market Days are advertised well in advance.
    I notice that the Co-op made a real splash on Market Days to get people in with tastings etc. , maybe others could have done the same and used the opportunity for marketing and drawn in new customers. The idea was to promote Grayshott as a shopping destination which it achieved.
    There was a tremendous amount of work put in to create this positive identity for Grayshott which should be applauded and encouraged to add new initiatives rather than killing off successful ventures. I am wondering if there really is an issue over parking, there were hundreds of people in the square on Market days, they all managed to find a parking place.

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