VIPs reflect on the positives of Leighton Buzzard Market revamp

Deputy Mayor Cllr Clive Palmer, John Dyson (NMTF president), Mayor Cllr. Syed Rahman and Michael Nicholson (NMTF president-elect)
Deputy Mayor Cllr Clive Palmer, John Dyson (NMTF president), Mayor Cllr. Syed Rahman and Michael Nicholson (NMTF president-elect)

Visitors from the National Market Traders Federation say there has been a largely positive response from stallholders to the changes introduced at Leighton Buzzard Market.

Guests from the Federation turned up on Tuesday (September 26) to further relaunch activities, including music from a barrel organ and singer Richard Stark serenaded market visitors.

As on the official relaunch day of Saturday (September 23), the Town Crier announced the relaunch and this time it was in front of the visitors from the National Market Trader Federation, including president John Dyson and president-elect Michael Nicholson who said they had been been delighted to attend.

Mr Dyson said: “We both spent some considerable time walking round the market and chatting to the traders, and on the whole we felt there was a positive response from them to the changes that have been introduced.

“Certainly the market looked smart and tidy, and the decision to hold additional special events on market days can only enhance its appeal.

“Michael and I congratulate the town council on its initiative and wish everyone well for the future.”

Reflecting on the previous Saturday relaunch day, the town council says social media chatter shows people have differing views about the new look market.

A spokesman said: “Whilst personal tastes may differ over the look of new stall equipment, initial feedback from traders using the new kit was positive a general trader saying it was a ‘record day’ for him on income. We will continue to work with traders in order to address specific issues they may have and to ensure the public can move between the stalls to cross the road.”

The council added that the Handmade and Craft speciality market took up its new location and feedback from its traders was positive saying they enjoyed the higher profile of the location with more visitors showing an interest.

One of those trader said: “Fingers crossed we will get a lot of new customers as quite a few people were still unaware that we are there every month and we had a lot of positive comments.”

The council says there will be some tweaking of pitch placement to help with the layout there. The spokesman said: “A meeting with Buzzard Scooter Club took place on Friday to develop a collaborative approach to ensure the space works for everyone.

“A quick chat with the owners of Ollie Vees at the end of Saturday confirmed they remain fully behind the market’s use of the space.”

A Leighton Buzzard Market Supporters group protest march against changes to the market made by Leighton-Linslade Town Council, had been due to take place at the relaunch but was called off as the council had promised to continue talking to traders about the new layout, rents and pitch sizes.

> See the September 23 relaunch video on our website leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk

> Check out the new Leighton Market website, leightonbuzzardmarket.co.uk